Entering with Tzitzis, Tallis, Gartel and Kittle into a bathroom or Mikveh

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Entering with Tzitzis and other holy garments into a bathroom:[1]

It is permitted to enter with Tzitzis into a bathroom being that this does not appear so much as belittlement of the Mitzvah.[2] Nevertheless, this only applies to the Tallis Katan being it is used as a garment and is not designated specifically for prayer[3], however, it is not proper[4] to enter into the bathroom wearing a Tallis Gadol, being that it is designated only for prayer.[5]

Kittle:[6] The same applies regarding the Kittle on Yom Kippur, that when one goes to [the bathroom to] relieve himself, he needs to remove the Kittle prior to doing so, being it is designated only for prayer.

Q&A

May one put on his Tallis Katan in the bathroom?[7]

Yes.

Is the Tallis, Kittel and Gartel to be removed even if one is only entering the bathroom to urinate, or for other purposes?

Some Poskim[8] rule it is permitted to urinate while wearing the above garments. This applies even if one enters into a bathroom to urinate.[9] Nevertheless, the custom is to be stringent in this matter and remove the Tallis [and above clothing] prior to entering a bathroom or bathhouse[10], and so seems to be the opinion of Admur.[11] Likewise, even if one is urinating outside a bathroom, the above items should be removed.[12]

May one enter the Tallis into the washroom or bathtub in order to be washed?[13]

Practically, one may be lenient to do so, if necessary.

May one enter the Tallis Gadol into a Mikveh?[14]

One is not to do so unless the Tallis is placed into a bag, or one is in the changing room and there is no one undressed.

Must one remove his Gartel prior to using the bathroom?[15]

Yes, as it is designated only for prayers. However, those who wear an inner gartel over their Tzitzis are not required to remove it, being that it is not designated only for prayer.

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[1] Admur 21:3

[2] Admur ibid; Michaber 21:3; Levush 21:3; Rambam Tzitzis 3:9; Nimukei Yosef Tzitzis in name of Geonim

The reason: As it is meant to serve as clothing and not only for the Mitzvah of Davening with them. [ibid] Alternatively, the reason a Tallis Katan may be worn is because it is covered. [Taz ibid; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 21:13] See next!

Other Opinions: There are people who are particular to remove all clothing that contain Tzitzis [including their Tallis Katan] when going to the bathroom. [Sefer Chassidim 775]

Those who wear the Tallis Katan over their clothing: Some Poskim rule that the above leniency only applies to a Tallis Katan that is worn under the clothing, however those who wear a Tallis Katan over the clothing are to remove it before entering into the bathroom. [Halachos Ketanos 2:57; Makor Chaim of Chavos Yair 21:3; So is implied from Taz 21:3 who writes that the reason for the allowance is because it is covered; Ben Ish Chaiy Bireishis 9] Other Poskim, however, rule this is not necessary. [Peri Megadim 21 M”Z 3] Practically, so is implied from Admur who explains the reason for the allowanced based on that it is a regular clothing, unlike the Taz which mentions the fact it is covered.

[3] Admur ibid

Other reasons: Some write the reason a Tallis Katan may be worn is because it is covered. [Taz ibid; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 21:13] See previous footnote!

[4] It is merely not proper; it is however not forbidden from the letter of the law. [See Biur Halacha 588 “Shema”]

[5] Admur ibid; Taz 21:3; Elya Zuta 21:3; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 21:13

The reason: As one does not serve his master with the same clothing that he cooks in, and hence it is improper to wear such clothing in a bathroom. [Taz ibid]

[6] Admur ibid; Taz 21:3; Elya Zuta 21:3; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 21:13

[7] Minchas Shlomo 1:1

[8] Mateh Ephraim 610:12; M”B 21:14; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 21:13

[9] Mateh Ephraim 610:12

[10] Aruch Hashulchan 21:6; See also Ginas Veradim Klal 2:25; Leket Yosher p. 6

[11] Admur 21:3 plainly writes that it is not proper to enter with these items into a bathroom and does not differentiate between whether one is entering to urinate or for a different reason. Perhaps this also explains the difference in wording that by entering a bathroom he writes “it is not proper” while by defecation he writes “one must remove”.

[12] Aruch Hashulchan ibid

[13] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 21 footnote 50 that majority of Achronim today rule that our bathrooms do not have Ruach Raah

[14] Piskeiy Teshuvos 21:3; See Admur 45:3 that one is not to enter into the changing area of a bathhouse unless no one is naked inside at that moment.

[15] See Mishneh Halachos 11:23; Vayivarech David 2:19; Beir Sarim 4:56; Piskeiy Teshuvos 21:3

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