26. Liquid soap should be used to wash the hands before and after treating a patient. If liquid soap is unavailable, ordinary soap may be used, but where feasible the soap should be used under a running faucet[44]. Hot water from a electric boiler may not be used for this purpose (and preferably not even from a solar heater[45]) when the patient is in the category of the non-seriously ill, since cold water enters to take the place of that used[46], unless a non-Jew opens and closes the faucet. If however the patient is seriously ill, the hot water may be used as necessary (opening the faucet, if possible in an unusual fashion, for instance between two fingers); the faucet is closed by a non-Jew. However if there is even a remote possibility that more hot water be needed for a seriously ill patient on the Sabbath, the Jew may himself close the faucet[47]. Following the treatment of any patient, whether seriously ill or not, the hands may only be washed with hot water if a non-Jew opens and then closes the faucet[48]. On a Festival, one may use hot water from an electric boiler or solar heater without any restrictions[49].

[44] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 40:11.

[45] Written communication from R. Y.Y. Neuwirth.

[46] See Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 1:39.

[47] R. Sh.Z. Auerbach in Lev Avraham Pt. 1, page 15, note to 6:22.

[48] Oral communication from R. Y.Y. Neuwirth.

[49] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 2:7.