Proper conduct

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Proper conduct upon having a bowel movement: [1]

A. Not to do it forcibly or quickly:[2]

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.[3] 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.[4]]


B. Not to defecate standing:[5]

One is not to defecate in a standing position.


C. Advice for one who is constipated:[6]

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 danger of sorcery. 


[1] 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.

[2] Basra 3/8; Kama 3/13

[3] Lit. Shineiy Karkashta; Basra ibid adds “and cause it to come out”

[4] Chayeh Adam 3/61; Ketzos Hashulchan 4/3; Kitzur SH”A 4/3

[5] Kama 3/5; Omitted in Basra.

[6] Kama 3/4

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