בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר

קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם.

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

al n'tilat yadayim.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning washing of hands.

According to Jewish law we wash our hands before eating because there was a law to be pure. The blessing above is said before every time we eat bread. Back in ancient times they would do this also, so we follow this ritual as our ancestors did.

The procedure for washing is identical to the washing done earlier at Urchatz. However this washing will be followed by two other blessings and one should try not to speak from the time of the blessing until after eating the matzah. One tradition is that everyone except the leader of the Seder goes to the kitchen. A large cup is filled with water which is poured two times on the left and two times to the right. The rachtzah blessing is recited, hands are dried, and everyone returns to the table to recite the next two blessings before eating the matzah. Then someone brings water and the cup to the leader of the table can wash at the table.


Discussion Question:
Does it make sense in modern times to wash our hands before every time we eat bread?

haggadah Section: Rachtzah
Source: Chabad.org, http://www.jewfaq.org/prayer/shabbat.htm, The Survival Kit Family Haggadah