- Ritualistic Hand Washing
Netilat Yadayim Rochtzah (Washing Before the Meal):
After concluding the first part of the haggadah by drinking the second cup of wine (while reclining), the hands are washed again, this time with the customary blessings, as is usually done before eating bread.] The Seder Leader calls out Rachtzah. Before we begin the Seder, we wash our hands and recite the traditional blessing for washing the hands:
Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the universe, Who sanctifies us with Your commandments, and commanded us to wash our hands.
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במיצוותיו וציונו על נטילת ידיים.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al netilat yadayim.”
Ritualistic Hand Washing:
Before proceeding, please note:
:לפני שנמשיך, שים לב
The source of the expression netilat yadayim (נטילת ידיים) is the ancient practice of giving water to others: “giving hands” versus “taking into the hands.” Meaning: (we) the *servants give the water to those who take the water.
מקור הביטוי (נטילת ידיים) בנוהג הקדום של נתינת מים לידי הזולת: ‘נותנים לידיים” מול ‘נוטלים לידיים’. דהיינו, המשרתים נותנים את המים על ידיהם של אלו הנוטלים את המים.פ
*At his last Seder the Servant Messiah not only “gave water” for the cleansing of the hands of his disciples, he also gave water for the cleansing of their feet. The Messiah teaches us at the Seder that we are indeed free to recline. It is our right. However, the question is how will we use our freedom? The Messiah has said he cheerfully chooses to (voluntarily) use his freedom to serve others in love. Therefore, he has set an example for us to prefer one another more highly than our own selves. We are to be servant leaders. For more explanation regarding this matter of the Messiah’s servant leadership teaching read these five passages: 1 ,2, 3, 4, 5.
One should not speak until after making the next two blessings and eating the Matzah.
The ritual of netilat yadayim (נטילת ידיים) is actually a “ceremonial” cleansing. In fact, before engaging in this ritual, your hands should already be clean. Once your hands are clean, you fill a smooth-rimmed jug or glass with water, and pour it over your hands. Certain Rabbinical authorities state that you should pour the water three times on each hand (right, left, right, left, right, left). After “washing” the hands, they are clasped together and the blessing is recited.