Washing One’s Hand’s

By Rabbi Chaim Chazzan

 

Must one wash his hands after touching body parts of a baby or child, which adults usually keep covered but children usually do not?

 

The halacha is that if one touched a part of one’s body that is usually covered (“mekomos hamechusim”), one must wash his hands[1].

The reason for this is because it is common for there to be dirt as a result of sweat[2] in those areas.  The definition of mekomos hamechusim is that which is usually covered and has sweat[3].  This applies also if one touched a child in an area which the child usually has covered[4].

It follows from the above that one would not need to wash one’s hands after touching the parts of the body of a child that are not usually covered, even if an adult usually covers those places, since there is no concern for sweat[5]. Since the parts of the body that are left uncovered vary according to the age of the child, the halochos of the requirement to wash one’s hands after touching those places will vary as a result[6].

 

Reprinted with permission from  Lmaan Yishmeu – a project of Mercaz Anash. To see more articles visit Mercazanash.com


[1] שוע”ר מדו”ק סי’ ד סעי’ יח.

[2] שוע”ר סי’ צב סעי’ ז

[3] ראה ספר זה השלחן ח”ב סי’ ד סעי’ כא עיי”ש

[4] כף החיים סי’ קסד או”ק יד

[5] הליכות שלמה פ”כ אות טז; שו”ת אור לציון ח”ב בהלכות הקצרות פמ”ד אות ו [ומה שציין שם לשוע”ר צ”ע כוונתו דאיירי התם בנגיעת קטן במאכל ולא במבוגר שנגע בקטן]; וכן הובא בשם הגרי”ש אלישיב בספר הקטן והליכותיו ח”א פ”ו הע’ יא, וע”ע שו”ת: אז נדברו ח”ה סי’ מה, מנח”י ח”ג סי’ כו, ח”ד סי’ קי”ד, ויען יוסף ח”א סי’ ד

[6] הליכות שלמה שם

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