734. Who Pours the Water?

100:5 A Levy (Levite) should pour the water over the hands of the kohanim as per Numbers 18:2, ” also your brothers from the Tribe of Levy…bring near with you; they will be joined to you and assist you.” If no Leviim are present, the water should be poured by a bachor (first-born son). If there is no bachor present either, the kohein should pour the water himself rather than have it done by a Yisroel (Israelite). The Levy or the bachor who pours the water over the hands of the kohanim should wash his own hands first if they are unclean.

A kohein may not go up to duchen wearing shoes. Shoes should be removed before washing hands. (The kohein can remove his shoes after washing if it’s possible to do so without touching them – Mishnah Brurah 128:15.) It’s preferable to stash the shoes out of sight under a bench out of deference to the dignity of the congregation.