Davening with feces in another room

 

May one pray or learn in a room if he can see feces from his open door/window?[1]

Cannot smell feces: If a person is in one room reading the Shema and the feces are in another room, then even if the door is opened between the two rooms and he is sitting by the opening which is near the feces, nevertheless it is permitted to read the Shema in that area so long as he does not smell the feces.[2] However there is an opinion[3]  that rules it is forbidden to read the Shema while the feces is within one’s view, even when it is in a different domain. Practically, the main ruling follows the former opinion.[4] [Thus, the feces may be within 4 amos of the person outside the room and the door may be open with the visible feces.] Nevertheless, it is proper to suspect for the latter opinion [and not have the feces within one’s sight]. [This stringency however is only required if the window or door is open, as according to all opinions there is no issue in seeing the mobile bathroom through a closed transparent window or door.[5]] Likewise, according to all it suffices to close one’s eyes when inside the house even if one is facing it, and at night, if one cannot see the bathroom due to lack of light, it is permitted to pray or learn in ones house even if one is facing it through an open window or door.[6]

Can smell feces:[7] If one can smell the feces, then according to all opinions it is forbidden to learn or Daven even if the feces are in another room.  

 

 

Summary:

Can smell feces: If one can smell the feces, it is forbidden to do so.

Cannot smell feces: It is best to be stringent that the feces not to be within one’s sight. This stringency however is only required if the window or door is open; there is no issue in seeing the mobile bathroom through a closed transparent window or door. It suffices to close one’s eyes when inside the house even if one is facing it, and at night, if one cannot see the bathroom due to lack of light, it is permitted to pray or learn in ones house even if one is facing it through an open window or door.

 


 


[1] Admur 79/5; Michaber 79/2

[2] 1st opinion in Admur ibid and Michaber ibid; Rosh Brachos 3/46

The reason: The reason for this is because the opening of the room is considered as if it is closed, being that it contains doorposts [Lit. Gifufim] that separate it from the room that contains the feces. [ibid]

[3] Rashba Brachos 25a; 2nd opinion in Admur and Michaber ibid

[4] The reason: As since the feces is in another room it is not relevant whether he can see it, as it is considered like feces in a glass container of which all agree that there is no prohibition in seeing it. [ibid]

[5] As this is similar to feces that are in a glass container of which all agree do not contain a prohibition.

[6] Admur ibid; M”A 79/8

The reason: As since he is in a different domain and does not physically see it, all agree it is eprmiktted. [ibid]

[7] Admur ibid

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