SECTION 7 Laws Relating to the Recitation of the Blessing Asher Yatzar after Relieving Oneself in the Course of the Day. (1–7)

סימן ז דִּין בִּרְכַּת "אֲשֶׁר יָצַר" כָּל הַיּוֹם אַחַר הֲטָלַת מַיִם, וּבוֹ ז סְעִיפִים:

1 After a person relieves himself in the course of the day, whether he urinates or eliminates, [after washing his hands] he should recite the blessing Asher Yatzar.1 However, he does not have to2 [first] recite the blessing Al netilas yadayim — even if his hands were soiled, such as if he used them to brush off [spattered urine] or to clean himself, and even if he desires to study or pray immediately afterwards.

Although when there is water available he may not pray unless he washes his hands, our Sages did not ordain that a blessing be recited over washing the hands, except in the morning,3 for then one is comparable to a newly-created being, as explained in sec. 4[:1, 14], and when one washes before eating [bread], so that [washing before partaking of] terumah becomes habitual.4

א כָּל הַיּוֹם כְּשֶׁעוֹשֶׂה צְרָכָיו בֵּין קְטַנִּים בֵּין גְּדוֹלִים – מְבָרֵךְ "אֲשֶׁר יָצַר",א, 1 אֲבָל אֵין צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ2 "עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם", אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ יָדָיו מְלֻכְלָכוֹת שֶׁשִּׁפְשֵׁף בָּהֶם אוֹ קִנַּח בָּהֶם, וַאֲפִלּוּ רוֹצֶה לִלְמֹד אוֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל מִיָּד. וְאַף־עַל־פִּי שֶׁאִי־אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נָטַל יָדָיו בְּמַיִם, אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ מַיִם – מִכָּל מָקוֹם, לֹא תִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים לְבָרֵךְ עַל הַנְּטִילָה אֶלָּא בַּשַּׁחַר,ב, 3 מִשּׁוּם דְּנַעֲשֶׂה כִּבְרִיָּה חֲדָשָׁה, וּכְמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ד,ג וּבִנְטִילַת יָדָיִם לָאֲכִילָה מִשּׁוּם סֶרֶךְ תְּרוּמָה.ד, 4

2 When a person urinates, does not brush off [any drops of urine with his hands], and is careful not to touch his organ, he is not required to wash his hands at all,5 even if he desires to pray immediately. Nevertheless, it is proper for him to wash his hands before he studies or mentions the Divine name, as implied by the verse,6 “Prepare to greet your G‑d, O Israel.”7

ב הַמֵּטִיל מַיִם וְלֹא שִׁפְשֵׁף,ה אִם נִזְהַר שֶׁלֹּא לִגַּע בְּעֶרְוָתוֹ – אֵין צָרִיךְ לִטֹּל יָדָיו כְּלָל,ו, 5 אֲפִלּוּ אִם רוֹצֶה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל מִיָּד. מִכָּל מָקוֹם, נָכוֹן הַדָּבָר שֶׁיִּרְחֹץ יָדָיו קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּלְמֹד אוֹ שֶׁיִּזְכֹּר אֶת הַשֵּׁם, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ז, 6 "הִכּוֹן לִקְרַאת אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל".7

3 A person who urinates and forgets to recite the blessing Asher Yatzar,8 even though he diverts his mind from urinating further before later deciding to urinate again, is not required9 to recite the blessing Asher Yatzar twice; one recitation suffices for both times. To what can this be compared? To a person who ate, diverted his attention from eating but forgot to recite the Grace after Meals, and later changed his mind and ate again. He is not required to recite the Grace after Meals twice; one recitation also covers his earlier meal.10

ג מִי שֶׁהֵטִיל מַיִם וְשָׁכַח לְבָרֵךְ "אֲשֶׁר יָצַר",ח, 8 אַף־עַל־פִּי שֶׁהִסִּיחַ דַּעְתּוֹ מִלְּהָטִיל עוֹד מַיִם וְאַחַר־כָּךְ נִמְלַךְ וְהֵטִיל עוֹד מַיִם, אֲפִלּוּ הָכֵי – אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ 9 לְבָרֵךְ שְׁתֵּי פְּעָמִים "אֲשֶׁר יָצַר", אֶלָּא מְבָרֵךְ פַּעַם אַחַת, וְעוֹלֶה לוֹ אַף לְמַה שֶּׁהֵטִיל בַּתְּחִלָּה. הָא לְמַה זֶּה דּוֹמֶה, לְמִי שֶׁאָכַל וְהִסִּיחַ דַּעְתּוֹ מִלֶּאֱכֹל עוֹד וְשָׁכַח וְלֹא בֵּרַךְ בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן, וְאַחַר־כָּךְ נִמְלַךְ וְחָזַר וְאָכַל – שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן שְׁתֵּי פְּעָמִים, אֶלָּא פַּעַם אַחַת, וְעוֹלֶה לוֹ אַף לְמַה שֶּׁאָכַל בַּתְּחִלָּה.ט, 10

4 There is no minimum amount: one is obligated to recite the blessing even for one drop [of urine].11 For were the organ to be closed and unable to excrete that drop, this would be stressful. He must therefore offer thanks.

Accordingly, when a person desiring to go to the synagogue to pray or desiring to eat first checks whether he will need to urinate, even if he expels even a slight amount he must recite the blessing Asher Yatzar [in appreciation] for the opening of the apertures.

ד אֵין שִׁעוּר לַהֲטָלַת מַיִם,י כִּי אֲפִלּוּ לְטִפָּה אַחַת חַיָּב לְבָרֵךְ,11 שֶׁאִם יִסָּתֵם הַנֶּקֶב מִלְּהוֹצִיא הַטִּפָּה הַהִיא – הָיָה קָשֶׁה לוֹ, וְחַיָּב לְהוֹדוֹת. וְלָכֵן כְּשֶׁאָדָם רוֹצֶה לֵילֵךְ לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת לְהִתְפַּלֵּל, אוֹ הוֹלֵךְ לֶאֱכֹל, וּבוֹדֵק אֶת עַצְמוֹ שֶׁמָּא יִצְטָרֵךְ לִנְקָבָיו וּמְטַפְטֵף מְעַט – צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ "אֲשֶׁר יָצַר", כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּפְתְּחוּ נְקָבָיו.יא

5 [At the conclusion of that blessing] one should not say Rofeh choli kol basar ([praising Him] “Who heals the sickness of all flesh”), but rather Rofeh kol basar (“...Who heals all flesh”).

ה לֹא יֹאמַר: "רוֹפֵא חוֹלִי כָּל בָּשָׂר", אֶלָּא "רוֹפֵא כָל בָּשָׂר".יב

6 A person who drank a laxative with the intention of clearing his intestinal tract completely does not divert his attention from this process until it is complete. Until that time, therefore, he should not recite the blessing Asher Yatzar.

ו מִי שֶׁשּׁוֹתֶה סַם הַמְשַׁלְשֵׁל יג וּבְדַעְתּוֹ לְפַנּוֹת הַבְּנֵי מֵעַיִם עַד שֶׁתִּכְלֶה הַזֻּהֲמָא מֵהֶם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא הִסִּיחַ דַּעְתּוֹ מֵעֲשִׂיַּת צְרָכָיו, לְפִיכָךְ לֹא יְבָרֵךְ "אֲשֶׁר יָצַר" עַד אַחַר גְּמַר הַהוֹצָאָה.

7 [The following rule applies] if one forgot to recite a blessing [of thanksgiving] after having eaten something, and later, after urinating, recalled [his obligation regarding that earlier blessing] before reciting the blessing Asher Yatzar: He should first recite Asher Yatzar and only then the other blessing, for a frequent obligation takes precedence over a less frequent one.12

ז מִי שֶׁאָכַל דָּבָר שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכָה אַחֲרוֹנָה וְשָׁכַח וְלֹא בֵּרַךְ, וְהֵטִיל מַיִם, וְנִזְכַּר קֹדֶם שֶׁבֵּרַךְ "אֲשֶׁר יָצַר" – יְבָרֵךְ תְּחִלָּה "אֲשֶׁר יָצַר", וְאַחַר־כָּךְ הַבְּרָכָה הָאַחֲרוֹנָה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁתָּדִיר קוֹדֵם לְשֶׁאֵינוֹ תָּדִיר.יד, 12