In Judaism we wash our hands quite frequently and for different reasons. One of the times when we wash our hands is following a meal. This specific hand washing is called Mayim Achronim, or “Final Waters”, because it is after the meal. The reason given is to avoid getting salt in the eyes. When we wash our hands at this point, most people use a special Mayim Achronim cup and basin set put aside for this purpose.
The Mayim Achronim set consists of a cup and a basin with which to wash the hands. The cup may be as simple as a Washing Cup and the basin may be a plastic bowl. There is no requirement for a fancy cup and bowl. However, since Jews typically try to beautify commandments and their performance, there are fancy and elaborate Mayim Achronim cups and basins.
When picking out a Mayim Achronim set, there are options to consider. Some people prefer wood and ceramic because it can be personalized more easily by painting. In addition, they can depict what they choose on the Mayim Achronim, such as Jerusalem or another design, such as the 7 species or the well-known and popular Armenian designs. The words “Mayim Achronim” are also usually painted on the cup.
There are also metal Mayim Achronim sets and they usually are made of Pewter, Brass or sterling silver. These two types of materials are usually engraved with a design, usually the 7 species or a flower pattern. They might also have Jerusalem engraved or sometimes even a name. It is common for the words “Mayim Achronim” to be engraved on the cup as well. Sometimes there will be a phrase from the grace after meals stating that we have eaten and are satisfied and therefore can bless God for the meal. The cup sometimes has a handle and may be shaped like an oil flask. These Mayim Achronim sets are often quite pricey as they usually are 925 sterling silver. When looking for Judaica religious items, make sure to check out the Talit section. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us and a customer support representative will be happy to assist you.