Angels

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Escorting of angels: [1]

[It used to be that] upon entering into the bathroom, each time, one would tell the angels that escort him “Hiskabdu Michubadim…“.[2] Today however we are no longer accustomed to say this as we do not consider ourselves G-d fearing enough to the point that angels escort us.[3]


[1] Kama 3/1. Omitted in Basra; Michaber 3/1; M”B 3/1

Background:

The Gemara [Brachos 60b] states that upon entering the bathroom one is to bequest the escorting angels to wait for him and guard him. The Abudarham, brought in Beis Yosef, states this is no longer the custom.

Other Opinions: Many Poskim rule that based on the Arizal and Kabala one is to say the verse even today, prior to entering the bathroom each time. [Matzas Shmurim 28; Oar Tzaddikim 1/9 in name of Arizal; Machazik Bracha 2; Maggid Meisharim Matos; Ruach Chaim 3/1; Yafeh Laleiv 3/1; Mor Uketzia 3/1; Shulchan Hatahor 3/1; Artzos Chaim 3/1; See Shaareiy Teshuvah 3/1; Kaf Hachaim 3/1] This is said as a Segula to remove the evil spirit and evil thoughts from one’s mind and that one’s heart be always open for Torah learning. [Matzas Shmurim 28] It also saves one from thinking words of Torah in the bathroom. [Oar Tzaddikim ibid] Some however side that this is only to be said by those that spend their entire day in Torah learning and are hence defined as Torasam Umnasam, otherwise it appears like haughtiness. [Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid; Makor Chaim of Rav Chaim Hakohen; Aruch Hashulchan 3/2; Siddur Yaavetz; See Oad Yosef Chaiy Vayeitzei] However the Kaf Hachaim 3/1 concludes that since this matter is done in private, there is no worry of haughtiness involved in doing so.

[2] The full dialect is as follows:  “התכבדו מכובדים קדושים משרתי עליון שמרוני שמרוני עזרוני עזרוני המתינו לי עד שאכנס ואצא כי כן דרכם של בני אדם” 

[See Tur, Perisha; Piskeiy Teshuvos 3 footnote 6]

[3] This explanation of Admur is based on Bach and Taz 3/1; Abudarham and Rivash. This does not mean to say that we no longer have angels accompanying us, as it states explicitly in the Talmud [Chagiga 16a; Shabbos 119/a] that there are angels that accompany a person. These two angels that accompany a person record all of his actions, whether for good or for bad. [Zohar; Reishis Chochmah Shaar Hayirah 11; See Mor Uketzia 3/1 in length] The reason why we no longer say the above statement is because since we sin we do not have the right to ask the angels [which record the sin] to guard us and protect us, and hence only Tzaddikim reserve this merit. [Likkutei Mahrich Seder Hanhagas Beis Hakisei] Others explain it was only needed to be said due to the Mazkin found in field bathrooms. However today that everyone has private bathrooms it is no longer needed to be said. [Mor Uketzia 3/1; Toras Chaim Sofer 1]

Reciting Shalom Aleichem: The Chasam Sofer did not recite the song of Shalom Aleichem on the night of Shabbos due to the above Halacha which states that today the angels no longer escort us. [Chaver Ben Chaim] Nevertheless the custom is to say it, as on Shabbos even the Reshaim have good angels escort him, as explicitly written in the Gemara. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 3 footnote 3]

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