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Chapter 11: Bathroom related hazards
Bathroom Hazards, restrictions, superstitions, & Health directives
*For the full details of laws relating to bathroom use in general and the hazards related to it in particular, please refer to our corresponding Sefer “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 7 available for purchase on Amazon.com and through our website.
1. When and how often:
A. Regulating one’s bathroom usage: [Shulchan Aruch Harav/Achronim]
A person should accustom himself to always use the bathroom in the morning and evening, as this is an act of alacrity and cleanliness and brings one to holiness. [One should check if he needs the bathroom prior to prayer and meals in order for him to bless Hashem with purity of the body. One should also check himself if he needs the bathroom prior to bathing, and after bathing, prior to eating and after eating, prior to intercourse and after intercourse, prior to exercise and after exercise. ]
B. Not to delay one’s bathroom needs: [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch]
Health reasons: Due to health reasons, one is not to withhold his bathroom needs for even a moment, and rather whenever he feels the need to defecate or urinate, he should do so immediately. One who does withhold his needs, then even if he eats only healthy foods and follows all other health directives, nonetheless, he will be weak and stricken with pain all of days.
Halachic reasons: [Furthermore aside for the health issues,] one who withholds his bowels or bladder transgresses the [Rabbinical] command of “Al Tishaktzu Es Nafshoseichem”. However there are opinions that rule the prohibition of “Baal Tishaktzu” does not apply to one who withholds urine. Nevertheless, even according to their opinion it is [Rabbinically] forbidden due to danger and causing one to become sterile.
Withholding an urge to flatulate: It is permitted to withhold the urge to flatulate as doing so does not consist of Baal Tishaktzu.
Withholding one’s bowels or urine in order to find a private area: It is permitted to withhold ones bowels in order to find a private area. However when one needs to urinate it is forbidden for one to act with modesty and delay urinating [in order to find a private area]. Nevertheless when urinating in public he should turn towards the side.
At what point is one obligated to relieve his urge to urinate or defecate? The above prohibition of Baal Tishaktzu only applies when the person feels a certain amount of pressure to relieve himself. Some opinions define this to mean that if he cannot withhold himself for a Parsa distance [approximately 72 minutes] the prohibition of “Baal Tishaktzu” applies. If however he can withhold himself for this amount of time, then he may do so, whether by a bowel movement or urine and it does not contain the prohibition of Baal Tishaktzu, and does not involve danger [regarding urine]. [Some Poskim rule that the above prohibition only applies in circumstances that it is not common to withhold the needs. See Q&A!]
Sparks of Kabala
Expelling the evil Kelipos:
When one eats food, his body refines the nutrients from the waste. The nutrients are absorbed by the cells while the waste is discarded below and becomes impure Kelipos. One who delays his needs is in essence delaying the removal of these evil Kelipos from his body and is thus defiling his soul even more than his body. It is for this reason the verse emphasizes “Do not defile your soul”. Prior to using the bathroom one is to have this intent, that he is doing so in order to rid himself of this Kelipa.
A Segula for purity of mind and health:
The Kabbalists state that one who is lax in these laws refrains himself from purity of mind. One who is meticulous and desires to attach himself to his creator needs to beware that his body be clean at all times. This also helps one become physically healthy and turns one into a new body.
A. Urinating in an open area: [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch Harav/Achronim]
When one needs to urinate, he may do so even in front of others and during the day, if this is required. The reason for this is because withholding the urge to urinate is dangerous [and can cause one to become sterile]. Therefore, it is forbidden for one to act with modesty and delay urinating [in order to find a private area] if he needs to do so. Nevertheless, one should go to the side [of the area that he is in] to relieve himself.
B. One who urinates in front of his bed or other furniture: [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch]
A person who urinates in front of his bed [or other furniture such as a table] causes himself poverty.
C. Defecating by a palm tree: [Talmud/Achronim]
One is not to defecate between a palm tree and a wall.
D. Urinating through a hole: [Achronim]
A person should not urinate at night through a hole.
3. Escorting of angels:
[It used to be that] upon entering into the bathroom, each time, one would tell the angels that escort him “Hiskabdu Michubadim…“. 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.
|Sparks of Kabbalah:
When a person enters the bathroom, the spiritual revelations affected by the Tzitzis become concealed and elevated above. The Tallis Katan is hence viewed as a mere mundane garment. These revelations that have now become elevated create angels which are sent below to protect the person upon him leaving the bathroom. It is for this reason that the prayer of Hiskabdu Michubadim is recited upon entering the bathroom, as these angels do not enter with the person into the bathroom, and rather wait for him outside.
A. Covering the body: [Shulchan Aruch Harav]
One is to cover himself as much as possible when using the bathroom. Only the amount necessary for one to do his needs and avoid dirtying himself should be uncovered. [One who is careful in being modest and covering himself in a bathroom is saved from damaging and deadly spirits and this lengthens the days of man.]
B. Not to talk in a bathroom: [Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]
One may not speak [even one word] in a bathroom as doing so is immodest [and due to the potential damage that the bathroom evil spirit can cause]. If it is not possible to [lock or] close the door of the bathroom, then if someone approaches him, he should grunt to him to let him know that the bathroom is occupied, although he may not speak to him.
Q&A on Talking
May one speak in a bathroom in a time of need?
If one has not yet begun to defecate, then in a time of need he may speak in a bathroom. If, however, he has already begun defecating he may not speak in the bathroom, even in a time of great need. [It is however permitted to talk of matters relevant to the bathroom such as asking for toilet paper, although seemingly even then it is best to hint to the matter rather than talk.]
May one speak on the phone while in the bathroom?
Based on Kabala, it is forbidden to speak in a bathroom at all, even if the other person is not present. Thus, one may not speak on the phone or even read aloud while using the bathroom.
May one talk in a bathroom if he entered for other purposes and does not currently plan to use it?
Some write it is permitted to talk in the bathroom if one does not plan to use it. This especially applies when the bathroom contains other usages, such as a shower, laundry, or medicine cabinet.
May one talk in a Mikveh or bathhouse?
It is an act of piety to avoid speaking in a bathhouse or Mikveh unless it is absolutely necessary.
Sparks of Kabala
Speaking in a bathroom invokes an evil spirit:
The Arizal warned that it is forbidden to speak even one word in a bathroom being that one who does so invokes the evil spirit called Tanya to reside in him. This spirit entices one to sin and causes danger.
The Kelipos nurture from the speech of a Jew:
It is forbidden to speak in a bathroom as the speech of a Jew is holy and allow the Kelipos that are found in the bathroom to nurture from it.
5. Proper conduct upon having a bowel movement:
A. Not to do it forcibly or quickly: [Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]
One is not to sit and defecate speedily or forcibly as doing so forcibly opens the hole and can tear parts of one’s large intestine. For this reason as well one should not apply to much pressure in effort to defecate. [One should not hurry to leave from the bathroom, as many are accustomed, but rather should stay until he feels that he no longer needs to defecate.]
B. Not to defecate standing: [Shulchan Aruch Harav]
One is not to defecate in a standing position.
C. Not to defecate on knees: [Talmud/Achronim]
One is not the defecate on his knees as it can lead to the Tachtoniyos illness.
D. What to use to clean?[Shulchan Aruch Harav/Achronim]
Not to use rough materials: One may not clean himself with earthenware [or rocks, or any material] which is not smooth [and have a rough surface] as doing so is dangerous being that it can tear [or puncture] the membranes of his rectum. [Rather only smooth rocks and other smooth materials may be used.]
Smooth earthenware: In today’s times it is permitted to clean oneself with smooth earthenware. [In the past when the bathrooms were out in the open it was not allowed to clean oneself with even smooth earthenware, as it could have been used for sorcery and had a spell placed on it. Today however that the bathrooms are in private areas, and thus the earthenware is not found freely in the open for the sorcerers to take, this is no longer restricted.]
Grass; paper and flammable materials: In today’s times it is permitted to clean oneself with flammable materials. Nevertheless [even today] one is not to use dry plants, as they are sharp and tear the rectum. [In the past it was forbidden to clean oneself with any dry material which was flammable due to it being damaging to ones intestines. (Thus toilet paper would not have been allowed to be used in those times.) Today however the custom is to use any smooth material, even if it is flammable, as it is viably seen that it does not damage. Thus moist plants may be used, however dry plants may not be used as they are sharp and tear the rectum, as explained above.]
Not to use material that someone else already cleaned himself with? One may not use material that someone else used to wipe himself with, as this can spread a disease (tachtoniyos). However if the fecal remnant is dry then it may be used. Similarly one may use the other side of the material that is still clean. If the material was used to clean ones own excrement, it may always be reused.
E. Dog hazards and the type of water: [Talmud/Achronim]
A person should not clean himself using the mouth of a dog, or in front of a dog, or using water that a dog drank from, or with water that does not contain 40 Seah. [Nonetheless, people are no longer careful in this matter to avoid washing using water of less than 40 Seah.]
F. Touching the rectum: [Shulchan Aruch Harav/Achronim]
Touching the anus area often can cause the disease of Tachtoniyos.
6. Constipation: [Rambam, Achronim]
Constipation or difficulty in having a bowel movement can lead to many illnesses. This applies even if he eats only healthy foods and follows all other health directives, nonetheless, he will be weak and stricken with pain all of days. Therefore, when a person is constipated or faces difficulty in defecating, then he is to seek medical consultation to be advised what he can do to get healed, based on his age group and general health. A great general rule in medicine is as follows: a person should always try to arrange for his stomach to be weak, and have loose stools, close to diarrhea.
Advice for one who is constipated: [Shulchan Aruch Harav]
One who desires to defecate but is constipated, should walk four cubits, and sit and stand many times consecutively until he is able to defecate, or until his mind focuses on other matters.
Massaging the area: One who desires to massage his opening with a stone or twig, in order to open his bowels, is to do so prior to sitting. One is not to do so after sitting as this matter contains the danger of sorcery.
7. After the bathroom:
A. Asher Yatzar as a Segula for cure and preventive healing: [Achronim]
The saying of Asher Yatzar with proper concentration is a great Segula for cure of ailments. In the words of the Seder Hayom: “If a person is complete in his attributes and he carefully utters his words he will not become sick all of his days and will never need a doctor. Certainly then one is to say the blessing with strong concentration and a complete mind to the healer of all flesh.”
B. Washing one’s hands after using the bathroom? [Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]
One who leaves a bathroom must wash his hands [immediately] afterwards. [This applies even if he entered the bathroom and did not relieve himself. This applies even by today’s bathrooms. However, those who are lenient not to wash their hands after entering bathrooms that contain other uses have upon whom to rely if they simply entered and did not do their needs.]
C. Covering feces with Ash: [Sefer Chassidim/Achronim]
One may not cover feces with hot ash as doing so causes damage to the body of the person for whom the feces was expelled from.
8. Entering food into a bathroom: [Achronim/Tradition]
One may not eat in a bathroom. Furthermore, one should not even enter food into a bathroom, and so is the custom. However, in a time of need, one may do so if the bathroom is clean. Likewise, Bedieved if one entered food into the bathroom, it remains permitted even if the food is not covered. However some are accustomed to avoid eating the food. Some write one is to wash the food three times.
If the food is covered in a bag: Some write that one may enter food into a bathroom if the food is covered by a bag, or the like, from all sides.
Medicine: Medicines that have no taste may be entered into a bathroom.
9. Washing hands in a bathroom, or with water that came from a bathroom:
A. Washing hands after using the bathroom and after other impurities:
One who uses the bathroom [or does other actions which requires him to wash hands afterwards in order to get rid of the evil spirit that resides on his hands] is to avoid washing his hands using the water of a bathroom. This applies even if he takes the water outside the bathroom. However, in a time of need one may wash his hands inside a bathroom, and may certainly remove the water from the bathroom to wash outside. This especially applies to the sink of a public bathroom, which is generally in a separate area of the room than the toilets and urinals. Nevertheless, initially one is to dry the hands outside the bathroom.
B. Netilas Yadayim for bread, or for the morning washing:
Water from the sink: One is to avoid washing his hands for the morning washing, or for bread, using a bathroom sink. However, in a time of need, one may wash his hands inside a bathroom on behalf of the morning washing, or to eat bread. In such a case, one is to only wash his hands in the bathroom, however the saying of the blessing and the drying of his hands is to take place outside the bathroom. In all cases, if one is able to bring the water of the bathroom to outside the bathroom, then one is to do so and wash there. However, initially, one is not to wash with water from the bathroom sink even if he brings it outside.
Toilet water: The above leniency is only with regards to sink water. However, toilet water is invalid for washing hands even if it is clean. [The same applies for any water that has remained in the bathroom for a considerable amount of time and is considered repulsive by people.]
C. Does spreading a sheet between the toilet and sink validate the sink to be used for washing?
If the sheet cannot be moved with the wind, and is within three Tefach from the ground and reaches up to ten Tefach from the ground, then some allow washing hands in that sink even initially.
 Admur Kama 2:8; M”A 2:8; Ketzos Hashulchan 4:1
In previous times bathrooms were not readily available in all homes or areas and hence many times a person would have to search for a quiet spot to use the bathroom. Hence Admur first suggests in 2:8 that one should accustom himself to use the bathroom in the morning and evening, during times that not many people are around, as otherwise he will need to walk a far distance to avoid people seeing him. Admur then adds that furthermore, even in areas that one has a private bathroom, he is to accustom himself as above due to reasons of cleanliness and purity.
 Sefer Chassidim 818 brought in Kaf Hachaim 3:51; Kitzur SHU”A 32:19; See also Admur 7:4
 Rambam Deios 4:16
 Admur Basra 3:11; Kama 3:24; Michaber 3:17; Gemara Makos 16b; See Kaf Hachaim Y.D. 116:83; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 58:1
Siddur Seder Netilah: “One who holds in his needs transgresses the Rabbinical command of “Do not disgust yourselves”, unless he is holding himself in order to find a private area to release himself, as the sages did not implement their words in a situation that it degrades ones honor. Similarly if he is in the midst of prayer, after Baruch Sheamar, he should not stop to relieve himself if he can hold it in until after prayer. There are opinions which say that by urine the prohibition of “Do not disgust yourselves” does not apply. However even according to them this is still prohibited being that it is dangerous, and can bring a person to become sterile. Some say that only if one cannot hold himself in for a parsa’s distance does the prohibition of “Do not disgust yourself” and of danger (by urine) apply.”
 Rambam Deios 4:1; Kitzur SHU”A 32:19
 Rambam Deios 4:15
 Basra ibid and Siddur; omitted in Kama; so rules Peri Megadim 3 M”Z 13; Kaf Hachaim 3:47; See Siddur of Rav Raskin footnote 88; Shaareiy Teshuvah 3; Sdei Chemed Asifus Dinim; Minchas Chinuch 163; Ksav Sofer 88; Miaseif Lechol Hamachanos 3:43
Other Opinions: The Chareidim [32:56] rules that by both urine and bowel movement one transgresses a Biblical command of “Baal Tishaktzu”. While by urine one transgresses an additional Biblical command of “Al tiyeh Akar”.
 In English: “Do not disgust yourselves”. This term became known in Hebrew as “Baal Tishaktzu” [see Kama, Basra and Siddur which use this term.]
 Rashba [See Siddur of Rav Raskin footnote 96]; Implied from M”A 92:1 [Elya Raba 92:2]
 So is implied from wording of Basra and Siddur, however, see above from Chareidim that it is a Biblical prohibition.
 Basra ibid and Siddur.
Ruling in Kama: In Kama ibid Admur rules that by urine both the prohibition of danger and of “Al Tishaktzu” apply. He does not mention any dissenting opinion.
 Siddur; 103:2; so also rules Elya Raba 3:16; Peri Megadim 3 M”Z 13; Shaareiy Teshuvah 3:16; Kitzur SH”A 4; Kaf Hachaim 3:47; Y.D. 116:83; M”B 103:3
 Basra 3:11; Siddur; M”B 3:31 in name of Peri Megadim 3 M”Z 13; See Siddur of Rav Raskin footnote 90 that this allowance to withhold ones needs for privacy reasons is not brought in previous Poskim.
 As the sages did not implement their words in a situation that it degrades ones honor. [Basra and Siddur ibid] Ashel Avraham Butchach 3 writes that so long as one is proceeding to an area to relieve himself, he does not transgress Baal Tishaktzu, as the walk itself is a preparation to rid himself of the filth.
Difference between bowel movement and urinating: Admur here does not differentiate between a bowel movement and urinating hence implying that one may always search for privacy even at the expense of withholding urine. However in Basra 3:5 he writes it is forbidden to hold in urine to find a private area. Thus one must either differentiate and say that this ruling here only refers to a bowel movement, or to withholding urine until one reaches a side area in public, as Admur himself suggests in Basra 3:5. Alternatively perhaps there it is referring to someone who has a very strong urge to urinate and hence holding himself back has a high chance of causing him to be sterile. Perhaps this can be deduced from the seemingly superfluous words “if he has to” that Admur adds there, and this is coming to say that if the person has a very strong urge to urinate then he may not withhold the urge to find privacy. However here it refers to a minor urge, such as a person who can hold it in for up to a Parsa, in which case we allow a person to delay his needs for privacy. Vetzaruch Iyun.
 Basra 3:5; However see Kama 3:18 and Siddur which write it is allowed to urinate in public and do not write that one must do so. This implies that there is no prohibition to withhold urine until he finds a private area; Ketzos Hashulchan records the wording of the Siddur “allowed” and not of Basra ibid that one must. See previous footnote. See Ashel Avraham Butchach 3 brought in previous footnotes.
The reason: Withholding urine is dangerous, and can bring a person to become sterile. [Basra 3:11 and 3:5]
 Basra 3:5; Siddur; Kama 3:19
 Siddur; First opinion in Basra ibid; Not explicitly mentioned in Kama, however see 92:1 although in 92:2 he implies like the second opinion in Basra. I have not found the exact definition of Baal Tishaktzu brought in previous Poskim.
Second opinion mentioned in Basra ibid: In Basra ibid Admur writes a more lenient opinion than the one above. He writes: “Others explain that even if one cannot withhold himself for a Parsa distance the prohibition does not apply so long as he does not have a very strong urge. (This means as follows: If the pressure is so much that if the person were to stop trying to withhold the urge, then it would come out on its own without him needing to push at all, even a little, then he must relieve himself, otherwise he transgresses Baal Tishaktzu. If however he would still need to push for it to come out, even a little, then by withholding himself he is not considered to be delaying his needs, as he is not doing anything to actively delay it, and thus he does not transgress the prohibition of “Do not disgust yourself”.)” [ibid; Parentheses in original] This opinion is omitted in the Siddur hence implying Admur does not rule this way. [See Piskeiy Hasiddur 3; Siddur of Rav Raskin footnote 99; It is likewise omitted in Ketzos Hashulchan 4:4. However see footnote 53 on Siddur and 93 on Basra 3 in new Shulchan Aruch Harav that learns from certain words in the Siddur that Admur does mention this opinion, as his first and main opinion. Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol on their understanding.] This second opinion of Admur is also recorded in Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeitzei 3; Kaf Hachaim 3:50, and so rules Piskeiy Teshuvos 3:9 and 92:1 that one may rely on this opinion.
Ruling of Admur in 92:2: This second opinion is seemingly the opinion of Admur in 92:2 which states the prohibition of Baal Tishaktzu does not apply even if one cannot hold himself for a Parsa distance. [see note 93 in new Shulchan Aruch]
 In Siddur Admur brings this opinion as “some opinions say”. However in Basra ibid he plainly rules like this opinion prior to bringing an even more lenient opinion mentioned in the previous footnote. See Kaf Hachaim 3:50 that everyone agrees that if one can withhold his needs for a Shiur Parsa the prohibition does not apply.
 Ketzos Hashulchan 4:4
 Ashel Avraham Butchach 3 regarding one who is in middle of speaking to a friend, or in middle of sleep.
 Arizal in Shaar Hamitzvos Shemini, brought in Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeitzei; Kaf Hachaim 3:46
 Chesed Leavraham brought in Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeitzei 1 and Kaf Hachaim ibid
 Admur Basra 3:5; Kama 3:18; M”A 3:12; Gemara Bechoros 44a; So rules also: Kitzur SHU”A 4:2; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeitzei; M:B 3:22; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 58:2
Siddur Seder Netilah: “One may urinate in public due to worry of danger. Nevertheless one should do it on the side”
 Basra ibid; In Kama, the order is “even during the day in front of others”.
 Basra 3:5; see also Kama 3:24 and Basra 3:11
 Basra 3:5; Omitted in Kama ibid or Siddur ibid. [There Admur simply writes it is permitted to urinate in public and not that one must do so.] Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol as in Basra 3:11 Admur rules one may withhold himself to find a private area, and it is implied from there that it refers to both urine and bowel movement. Thus one must differentiate and say that the ruling there only refers to a bowel movement. Alternatively it refers to withholding urine until one reaches a side area in public, as Admur writes here. Alternatively perhaps here it is referring to someone who has a very strong urge to urinate and hence holding himself back has a high chance of causing him to be sterile. Perhaps this can be deduced from the seemingly superfluous words “if he has to” that Admur adds here, that it is coming to say the person has a strong urge to urinate. However there it refers to a minor urge, such as a person who can hold it in for up to a Parsa, in which case we allow a person to delay his needs for privacy. Vetzaruch Iyun.
 Basra 3:5 and Siddur; In Kama ibid mention of going to the side is only made regarding a woman, while in Basra it mentions it both regarding a man and woman.
May one urinate in front of others if he has no choice? Yes. One may urinate even in front of a woman. [Chayeh Adam 3:1 brought in Kaf Hachaim 3:36]
 Michaber 241:1; Shabbos 62b; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 58:4
 M”B 241:2, in name of Maharsha Shabbos ibid
 Pesachim 111; Shemiras Hanefesh 329; Kaf Hachaim 116:210; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 120:1
 Shemiras Hanefesh 212; Kaf Hachaim 116:190
 Admur Kama 3:1. Omitted in Basra; Michaber 3:1; M”B 3:1
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 Shimurim, 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 Shimurim, 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 Od 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.
 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]
 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 119a] 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 Maharich Seder Hanhagas Beis Hakisei] Others explain it was only needed to be said due to the Mazikin 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] Likewise, some record that the Tzemach Tzedek and certain Ziknei Chassidim did not say it. [Siddur Raskin on Shabbos Tefilla footnote 98] 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]
 Matzas Shimurim, brought in Kaf Hachaim 21:13
 Based on Admur Basra 3:1; Kama 3:2 and 6; Siddur
 Kaf Hachaim 3:2 in name of Yifei Laleiv 1:2
 Admur Basra 3:2; Kama 3:2 simply states “One is not to speak there” as a continuation of the previous law and does not give further details; Rama 3:1 in name of Or Zarua; Midrash Talpiyos p. 65; Sefer Chareidim p. 76; Yifei Laleiv 3:9; Kaf Hachaim Y.D. 116:113; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 59
Ruling of Admur in 85:2: In 85:2 Admur rules that one may speak of mundane matters in a bathroom. Vetzaruch Iyun, as this seemingly contradicts the Halacha here. See Even Yisrael 9:63; Piskeiy Teshuvos 3 footnote 17 suggests that there it is discussing one who is in a bathroom and is not currently using it in which case talking is allowed.
 Makor Chaim 3:1
 Sefer Chareidim 47:7; Amudei Hashulchan 4:3; Shulchan Hatahor [Komrana] 3:3; Oar Yisrael [printed 1700] in name of Arizal brought in Kaf Hachaim 3:6; Y.D. 116:113
 So writes Admur in Basra ibid that the reason is due to modesty. However, the Mekubalim explain the reason is due to danger of the bathroom spirit, as will be explained in “Sparks of Kabala”.
 Shaareiy Teshuvah 3:2; M”B 3:4; based on Rambam Hilchos Deios 5 that prohibits speaking even in a time of great need. See Torah Lishma 24 who permits in a case of great need.
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 3:3 in name of Salmas Chaim 10 [not found], however so seems logical.
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 3:3 and “Sparks of Kabala” below
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 3:3; Yabia Omer 8:1 based on that in today’s bathrooms there are no longer any Mazikin.
 As in such a case many say the spirit of impurity does not reside in such a bathroom. [See Chapter 5 Halacha 4B]
 Shulchan Hatahor [Komrana] 3:3; Daas Torah 85; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 357; Shulchan Hatahor [Shomer Emunim] Tznius 4; Minchas Yitzchak 4:61
 This is because a Jews speech is very precious and there are Kelipos which nurture off this speech. [ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 85 footnote 6]
 Sefer Chareidim 47:7; Amudei Hashulchan 4:3; Shulchan Hatahor [Komrana] 3:3; Oar Yisrael [printed 1700] in name of Arizal brought in Kaf Hachaim 3:6; Y.D. 116:113
 See Beis Rebbe p. 106 in name of Tzemach Tzedek: There is a Kelipa called Tanya which prevents one’s learning of Penimiyus Hatorah, as through learning Penimiyus Hatorah one abolishes this Kelipa. It is for this reason that the Alter Rebbe began the Tanya with the word Tanya, and it is hence called Tanya.” This concept of the Kelipa called Tanya fighting against learning Penimiyus Hatorah is brought in Kisvei Arizal in the Pirush on the Idra; Oar Ganuz 2:19.
 Shulchan Hatahor ibid
 Sefer Chareidim ibid
 Soles Belula 3:2 brought in Kaf Hachaim 3:6
 It states in Miseches Derech Eretz that when one enters a bathroom, he should not enter with his face in front of him or by his back, and rather it is to be by his sides. [brought in Kaf Hachaim 3:8] This is no longer accustomed today.
 Admur Basra 3:8; Kama 3:13; Michaber 3:9; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 58:3
 Lit. Shineiy Karkashta; Basra ibid adds “and cause it to come out”
 Chayeh Adam 3:61; Ketzos Hashulchan 4:3; Kitzur SH”A 4:3
 Admur Kama 3:5; Omitted in Basra.
 See Shabbos 85; Brachos 55; Rashi ibid; Ashel Avraham Butchach 3; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 59:3
 See Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 60
 Admur Kama 3:16; Basra 3:8
 Kama ibid: “And have small indentations”
 Basra ibid
 Siddur Seder Netilah: “In the times of the Mishnah they would clean with small smooth stones”
 Kama 3:16; Basra ibid omits this entire discussion and simply implies that smooth earthenware may be used.
 Kama ibid; Rama 3:11 and so rules: Elya Raba 3:9; Shaareiy Teshuvah 3:10; Kol Bo 118; Chulin 81b; Peri Chadash Y.D. 116:9; Elya Raba 3:10; Reb Akiva Eiger O.C. 156; Kaf Hachaim 170:82; 3:26; Likkutei Maharich ; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 252:1 and 3
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule one may not use earthenware even today. [See Michaber 3:11; Bach; Olas Tamid 3:12; Birkeiy Yosef 3:6; Kaf Hachaim 3:25]
 Kama 3:16; Rama 3:11; Basra ibid omits this entire discussion.
 M”B 3:21; Kaf Hachaim 3:27; and so is implied from Admur here and 312:9 that the allowance and custom of today is only with regards to flammable materials and not regarding sharp, dry, grass.
 To note that as far as is known toilet paper only came into use in the 6th century, and did not reach Europe and Western civilization until the 1300’s.
 Kama 3:16
 Admur Kama 3:17; Michaber 3:11; Omitted in Basra; See Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 59:2
 Yerushalmi Shabbos end of “Hamotzi”; Elya Raba 3:9; Kaf Hachaim 3:31; ; See Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 59 footnote 6
 Orchos Chaim Spinka 3:5
 Admur Basra 4:2 [Omitted in Kama 4:5 and Siddur- Perhaps this is the difference between the Siddur and Kama which do not mention the anus, and thus rule like Rashi, and the Basra which does mention it and thus views the Gemara literally, that its restricted due to the impure spirit on ones hands. So learns also M”B ibid in name of Gra and Chayeh Adam.]; Shabbos 108b and Rashi there; M”B 4:13 in name of Gra and Chayeh Adam; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 54:13 footnote 1
 Rambam Deios 4:13; Kitzur SHU”A 32:20
 Rambam Deios 4:15
 See Rambam Deios 4:13 for a regiment to deal with constipation
 Admur Kama 3:4
 Admur Kama 4:18; Michaber 4:18; Beis Yosef 4:18; Abudarham p. 369 in name of Tashbeitz; Kol Bo 23; See also Mordechai Brachos Remez 194; Orchos Chaim Hilchos Netilas Yadayim 10; See Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 54:23 footnote 29
 M”A 4:18; Seder Hayom; Elya Raba 4:12; Peri Megadim 4:18; Kaf Hachaim 4:63; M”B 4:38; Omitted by Admur. Vetzaruch Iyun.
 The Reason: The impure spirit resides on the hands upon using the bathroom. This applies according to all. See Halacha 2 in footnotes.
If one urinated or defecated in a field does the impure spirit reside? See Kaf Hachaim 7:3 who writes that the spirit of impurity does not reside in such a case. So is also implied from Mateh Efraim 613:5; Vetzaruch Iyun as to his source for saying that the impure spirit does not reside after using the bathroom but resides in a bathroom. How can a bathroom be more strict than one who actually uses the bathroom?
 Peri Megadim 227 A.A. 2; M”B 4:40 in name of Artzos Hachaim and other Teshuvos; Ketzos Hashulchan 2 footnote 29; Chida in Bris Olam 8:23; Kesem Paz on Zohar; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] 8:18; Amudei Hashulchan 2:14; Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 16; Soles Belula 7:1; brought in Kaf Hachaim 4:65
Ruling of Admur: In 7:2 Admur rules that even if one used the bathroom, he is only obligated to wash his hands if he touched his feces or his Erva. This implies that even when one uses the bathroom, he does not always need to wash, and certainly when he simply enters it without doing his needs. Nevertheless, in truth nothing can be deduced from here as it is only discussing whether one may pray or say blessings prior to washing, and in that regards it depends on what one’s hands contacted. However, here it is discussing washing for the sake of removing the evil spirit and thus prevent forgetfulness. [Peri Megadim Ashel Avraham 4:17 and 227:2]
The reason: Upon entering a bathroom the spirit of impurity resides on one’s hands irrelevant of whether he used it to relieve himself. [Chida in Bris Olam 8:23; Kesem Paz on Zohar; Soles Belula ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid]
 Levushei Mordechai 2:182; 3:18; Chazon Ish 17; Chelkas Yaakov 1:205; Minchas Yitzchak 1:60; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that today’s bathrooms which flush right away do not carry the impurity of a bathroom. [Zekan Ahron 1:1; Eretz Tzevi 1:10; Olas Chaim Veshalom 43:1; Or Letziyon 1:1]
 Such as a shower; medicine cabinet, laundry machine etc.
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19; Halichos Shlomo 20:24 in name of Rav SZ”A; Oar Letziyon 1:9; Az Nidbaru 12:54
 Sefer Chassidim 919; Shemiras Hanefesh 123; Kaf Hachaim 116:174
 Beir Heiytiv 3:2: “If it is forbidden to talk in a bathroom [due to modesty], certainly one may not eat in it.” However see coming footnotes that the M”A 166:3; Beir Heiytiv 84:2; M”B 84:7, allow drinking water in a bathhouse. Seemingly one must say there is a difference between a bathhouse and bathroom in order to avoid a contradiction within the Beir Heiytiv.
 See Minchas Yitzchak 3:63; Piskeiy Teshuvos 171:9 footnote 47; Mahram Brisk 1:10; Yabia Omer 3:1
Background: There is no Halachic prohibition mentioned in the Talmud or Codifiers against entering food or liquid into a bathroom. On the contrary the Poskim [M”A 166:3; Beir Heiytiv 84:2; M”B 84:7 based on Aguda] discuss how one is to say a Bracha over water that is in a bathhouse, thus proving there is no problem with drinking this water. [Minchas Yitzchak 3:63; Vetzaruch Iyun, as explained in previous footnotes, one must differentiate between a bathhouse and bathroom, otherwise there is a contradiction in the Beir Heiytiv] Nevertheless, the custom is to avoid doing so. [Likkutei Maharich p. 163] This custom is based on a teaching of Rav Sar Shalom of Belz not to eat a food that was in the bathroom. [brought in Divrei Yitzchak, Likkutei Maharich ibid; Minchas Yitzchak ibid]
The reason for the above custom: Some Poskim writes that a spirit of impurity resides on food that was entered into a bathroom. [Chesed Lealafim 4; See Kaf Hachaim 4:20] Others rule the impure spirit never resides on food entered into a bathroom. [Shalmei Tzibur; Torah Lishma 23 of Ben Ish Chaiy; Beir Moshe 8:41] Nevertheless, even in their opinion it is nevertheless avoided due to sanitary reasons. [Salmas Chaim 3:9; Beir Moshe ibid] It is customary even amongst gentiles to avoid eating food in a bathroom due to this reason.
 Minchas Yitzchak 3:63
 Minchas Yitzchak 3:63
 Rav Sar Shalom of Belz [brought in Likkutei Maharich; Minchas Yitzchak ibid]
 Yaskil Avdi 7:45
 Beir Moshe 8:41; Piskeiy Teshuvos 171:9; In footnote 49 he writes that it does not require a double covering.
 Beir Moshe 8:41
 Os Chaim 43:1; Kaf Hachaim 4:11; Y.D. 116:73; Minchas Yitzchak 4:37; Chelkas Yaakov 2:162; Yabia Omer 9:108; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19
Background: Although there is no prohibition in doing a Mitzvah within a bathroom [Darkei Teshuvah Yoreh Deah 19:21] nevertheless the question is raised whether the water in a bathroom is able to purify one’s hands. The Kaf Hachaim ibid differentiates between using the bathroom washing water for washing after use of the bathroom, which is permitted in a time of need, versus for washing in the morning after awakening, or for bread, in which case you say a blessing over it, and it is more stringent, and the water is invalid. However, it is unclear if this invalidation is even with sink water or only with toilet water. See Devar Yehoshua 1:76; Piskeiy Teshuvos 160:19 footnote 73 who learns that it only applies to water that stayed in the bathroom for a while, and not to sink water
 Zechor Leavraham 3:49 and Zivcheiy Tzedek 2:116, brought in Kaf Hachaim 4:11 and 116:73, that so is the custom of the masses to spill out the water that they brought into the bathroom for washing purposes and they do not wash their hands with it even for the sake of washing hands after using the bathroom; Minchas Yitzchak 4:37
The reason: As a bathroom is a place of impurity and hence how can washing in it remove the impurity. [Minchas Yitzchak ibid in name of Poskim]
 Har Tzevi 1:50; Devar Yehoshua 1:76; Vayaan Yosef 1:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19; 160:19; 171:9
 Zechor Leavraham ibid; Os Chaim 43:1; Kaf Hachaim ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19
 See Mishneh Halachos 5:2
 See Yabia Omer 3:1; Chazon Ish 24:26; Vayaan Dovid 1:1; Az Nidbaru 14:86; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4 footnote 192
 See Shem Mishimon O.C. 9; Kaf Hachaim 4:11; Y.D. 116:73; Os Chaim 43:1; Chazon Ish Netilas Yadayim 24:26; Eretz Tzvi 1:110-111; Zekan Aaron 1:1; Chelkas Yaakov 1:2-4; 2:162; Minchas Yitzchak 1:60; 4:36; Divrei Yisrael 1:8; Divrei Yatziv Y.D. 34; Devar Yehoshua 1:76; Yeshuas Moshe 1:31; 2:101; Or Letziyon 1:1; Kinyan torah 1:49; Vayaan Yosef 1:2; Yabia Omer 3:1-2; 9:108; Koveitz Mibeis Levi 7:71; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19; 160:19; 171:9
 Shem Mishimon O.C. 9; Os Chaim 43:1; Minchas Yitzchak 4:36; Chelkas Yaakov 2:162; Vayaan Yosef 1:2; Yabia Omer 9:108; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19; Kaf Hachaim 4:11; Y.D. 116:73 [The Kaf Hachaim ibid differentiates between using the bathroom washing water for washing after use of the bathroom, which is permitted in a time of need, versus for washing in the morning after awakening, or for bread, in which case you say a blessing over it and it is more stringent and the water is invalid. However, it is unclear if this invalidation is even with sink water or only with toilet water. See Devar Yehoshua 1:76; Piskeiy Teshuvos 160:19 footnote 73 who learns that it only applies to water that stayed in the bathroom for a while, and not to sink water]
Background: Although there is no prohibition in doing a Mitzvah within a bathroom [Darkei Teshuvah Yoreh Deah 19:21] nevertheless the question is raised whether the water in a bathroom is able to purify one’s hands as one who enters a bathroom [even without doing his needs] is impurified. Furthermore, perhaps the water in a bathroom is considered repulsive and is invalid for washing just as we rule regarding water that was drunk by a dog.
 The reason: 1) As one is not to perform a Mitzvah in an area that is forbidden to study Torah. [Shem Mishimon O.C. 9] As a bathroom is a place of impurity and hence how can washing in it remove the impurity. [Minchas Yitzchak ibid in name of Poskim]
 Os Chaim 43:1; Minchas Yitzchak 4:36; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19; 160:19 in name of all Poskim ibid
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one may not wash his hands for bread using water from a bathroom, being that the water is considered invalid. [Levushei Mordechai Tinyana 182; Possible implication of Ben Ish Chaiy Acharei-Kedoshim 13 and Kaf Hachaim 4:11]
 See Yabia Omer 3:1; Chazon Ish 24:26; Vayaan Dovid 1:1; Az Nidbaru 14:86; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4 footnote 192
 Har Tzevi 1:50; Devar Yehoshua 1:76; Vayaan Yosef 1:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19; 160:19; 171:9
 Poskim ibid
 Ben Ish Chaiy Acharei-Kedoshim 13; Kaf Hachaim 4:11 based on that this water is considered repulsive just like water which a pig drank from and which the Poskim rule is invalid [Admur 160:8; M”A 160:7; Bach 160, brought in Beir Heiytiv 160:8], and hence may not be used; Kaf Hachaim Y.D. 116:73; Daas Torah 160:4; Devar Yehoshua 1:76; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 160:19
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that water from which a dog or pig drank from remains permitted to be used for washing hands for bread [Mamar Mordechai 160:6; 1st and Stam opinion in Admur ibid; See Admur ibid who records opinion of Bach as Yeish Poslim] and the same would seemingly apply here regarding bathroom water. [See Kaf Hachaim 4:11]
 Devar Yehoshua 1:76; Piskeiy Teshuvos 160:19 footnote 73
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:19; Chayeh Levi 1:14; Oar Letziyon 1:9
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