Not Interrupting Between Mayim Acharonim and Benching

Not Interrupting between Mayim Acharonim and Bentching

We should recite Birchas Hamazon (Grace after Meals) immediately after washing mayim acharonim (washing in preparation for Birchas Hamazon). The principle of teikef lenetilah brachah (not making a hefsek, a break), applies to mayim acharonim as it does to mayim rishonim—when we may not make a hefsek between washing our hands and saying the brachah of Hamotzie. According to some opinions, we should limit the time-lapse between washing mayim acharonim and reciting Birchas Hamazon to the amount of time it takes to walk twenty-two amos; some have calculated this to be about twelve seconds. Alternatively, the time-lapse should be limited to the amount of time it takes four people to wash mayim acharonim. In large groups, it is advisable to arrange separate washing cups for mayim acharonim for every four people. Not making a hefsek also includes refraining from speaking, and some poskim indicate that lechatchilah we should not be mafsik, even if we intend to wash again; in case we did speak, we should wash mayim acharonim a second time.  #285?1

Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.