From the Rav’s Desk: Praying near Animal droppings

  1. Question: [Monday, 28th Kisleiv 5781]

On Shabbos in our outdoor Minyan area we found droppings of what I believe was a cat on the floor. There were also bird droppings all over the place and my question is whether it is permitted for one to Daven in such an area?


Not all animal droppings are considered the halachic status of Tzoa. Bird droppings for example is not considered Tzoa and hence one may pray and learn Torah next to it. However, the droppings of a cat is a problem and it is biblically forbidden to pray or learn Torah within its site or within a four cubit radius of it. Therefore, what one has to do is to cover it. You can take a disposable bowl and turn it upside down over the feces to cover it in a way that it is not touching it. You may likewise use your feet to kick some leaves on top of it to cover it. Once it is covered you may Daven and learn next to it so long as it doesn’t smell.

Sources: Admur 76:1; 79:8; Ketzos Hashulchan 10:7

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