As we now transition from the formal telling of the Passover story to the celebratory meal, we once again wash our hands to prepare ourselves. In Judaism, a good meal together with friends and family is itself a sacred act, so we prepare for it just as we prepared for our holiday ritual, recalling the way ancient priests once prepared for service in the Temple.
Some people distinguish between washing to prepare for prayer and washing to prepare for food by changing the way they pour water on their hands. For washing before food, pour water three times on your right hand and then three times on your left hand. After you have poured the water over your hands, recite this short blessing.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו
וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָֽיִם:
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam,
asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav
v’tzivanu al n’tilat yadayim.
We praise you, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe,
who made us holy through obligations, commanding us to wash our hands.
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