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Decency in the Lavatory

Decency in the Lavatory


1. One should accustom himself to go to the lavatory evening and morning, for this causes alertness and cleanliness.

2. He who defers his needs is violating a command of the Torah.

3. One should be modest also in the lavatory. He should not expose himself until it is necessary, and then only as much as is necessary. This is true both by day and by night.

4. When one eases himself — in case of emergency — in the open, he should face either South or North, and never East or West. But if there is a wall, his back should be to the wall, regardless of direction.

5. The above reservations do not apply in the case of urination.

6. In the lavatory, it is forbidden to think of matters of the Torah.

7. One should wipe himself thoroughly. If any excrement is left, he cannot utter any holy words.

8. After moving one’s bowels or urinating he must wash his hands and say the benediction Asher Yotzar:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has formed man in wisdom, and created within him numerous orifices and cavities. It is revealed and known before the Throne of Your Glory that if but one of them were to be blocked, or one of them were to be opened, it would be impossible to exist even for a short while. Blessed are You, Lord, who heals all flesh and performs wonders.

9. If he forgot to wash his hands and to make the benediction, and he reminded himself the next time he went to the lavatory, he need but make one benediction.

10. If he takes a laxative and must go several times, he should say the benediction only when he knows that he is done.

Translated by Nissan Mindel
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Anonymous Petach Tikva, Israel August 8, 2017

The blessing that refers to the opening and closing of vital tubes within the human body applies to many more than those used for urination and defecation. Yet this article (and also the one dealing with 12 "unknown" blessings) makes me wonder if the knowledge of our bodies in Chabad is so elementary that nothing else is thought to be significance. I believe we should be grateful for many more of our body functions including our ability to write out what we think is missing. Reply

Pennywhistler TRENTON August 11, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

If you cannot write you will not die within minutes, hours or days.

"if one of them were to be blocked, or one of them were to be opened, it would be impossible to exist even for a short while." Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for July 3, 2014

To Anonymous in NJ Some have the custom to wash in the ritual manner (6 times, alternating hands) after using the restroom but it is not a requirement. The blessing Al Netilat Yadayim is only recited in the morning and before Hamotzi. Reply

Anonymous NJ June 29, 2014

Asher Yotzar When one washes one's hands after using the bathroom, is it done in a ritual manner with a vessel and with "al netilat yaddaim?"
The above description seems to indicate not.
When it is proper to say "al netilat yaddaim" after hand washing and when not?
(I know about hamotzi.) Reply

Leah January 19, 2013

thank you Rabbi Posner, but do we need to rinse our mouth out with mouthwash during the night and first thing in morning, before making the asher brocha? Reply

Menachem Posner January 17, 2013

RE: when to make brocha Yes, we make the blessing every time we finish relieving ourselves. Reply

Anonymous jHB January 10, 2013

when to make brocha thank you Rabbi, do we say the asher yatzer brocha every time we go to the loo, during the night and on relieving ourselves first thing in morning Reply Staff via June 26, 2012

Daria This prayer is said by men and women alike. Reply

DARA Brisbane, Australia June 25, 2012

Women's prayer Does this only apply to men?
Or can women recite this if they have time? Reply

Anonymous Tucson, AZ/USA July 5, 2011

Being thankful So often we do things with no thought at all. After being diagnosed with a digestive illness I have a new appreciation for body functions and the blessings that address these functions. We should always take the time to say thank you. I am not only thankful for body functions but also for the medicines our doctors use to treat illness related to those functions.

Thank you for making this information available on the internet.


Dovid Zaklikowski August 28, 2008

Transliteration and Hebrew Here is something that I quickly typed up:

Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam, A-sher ya-tzar es ha-a-dam b-chach-e-mah u-va-rah vo ne-kah-vim ne-kah-vim cha-lu-lim cha-lu-lim gah-luy ve-ya-du-ah lif-nei chi-sei che-vo-de-chah, she-im yi-sa-seim e-chad mei-hem oh im yi-pa-sei-ach e-chad mei-hem, ee ef-shar le-his-ka-yeim a-fi-lu sha’ah e-chas. Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, ro-fei chal ba-sar u-maf-lee la-a-sos.


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְה-וָה אֱלהֵ-ינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת הָאָדָם בְּחָכְמָה וּבָרָא בוֹ נְקָבִים נְקָבִים חֲלוּלִים חֲלוּלִים גָּלוּי וְיָדוּעַ לִפְנֵי כִסֵּא כְבוֹדֶךָ שֶׁאִם יִסָּתֵם אֶחָד מֵהֶם אוֹ אִם יִפָּתֵחַ אֶחָד מֵהֶם אִי אֶפְשַׁר לְהִתְקַיֵּם .אֲפִילוּ שָׁעָה אֶחָת. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה רוֹפֵא כָל בָּשָׂר וּמַפְלִיא לַעֲשֹוֹת Reply

Allison Bresin phoenix, az August 27, 2008

prayer in hebrew I don't know hebrew very well but I can read it with there a way someone could post this prayer so I can print it off and hang it to remind myself to say it? Reply

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