Washing hands in the morning and at other times

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I may have a misunderstanding of netilat yadayim /asher yatzar process.
Am I right in saying that we only say ‘al netilat yadayim’ together with asher yatzar, in the morning upon 1st going to lavatory? Through the rest of the day, after using the lavatory, one would wash (without saying al netilat yadayim) and then say the blessing of asher yatzar?
Also is the washing after lavatory twice on right and twice on left, at all times i.e 1st use and use during the day or do we not need this traditional washing when not saying al netilat yadayim?

Dear Gabriel,
TY for your Question.
You are correct about reciting the blessing of ‘al netilat yadayim’ specifically in the morning. In principle, one should say asher yatzar upon arising even if s/he does not use the lavatory. In any case, one should indeed recite the blessing of asher yatzar on appropriate occasions throughout the day.
Upon arising one should wash three times on alternating hands (some do this four times, as per the practice of the Vilna Gaon; I do this). At other times, other than before eating bread, there is no requirement to use a separate washing utensil. Nevertheless, some are accustomed to doing so after using the lavatory and before prayer. Twice on each hand is sufficient; no need for alternating hands.
(I have excluded certain specialized situations such as leaving a cemetery.)
BTW, it has been suggested that the ritual practice of regular hand-washing significantly inhibited Jewish casualties from the Black Death (bubonic plague) pandemic in mid-14th c. Europe, which killed an incredible estimated 30%-60% of the population. (Unfortunately Jews were often massacred and accused of poisoning the wells.) So wash those hands!
I hope this is helpful.
Best wishes
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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