SECTION 81 Laws Relating to the Feces of a Young Child. (1–3)

סימן פא דִּין צוֹאַת קָטָן וּבוֹ ג' סְעִיפִים:

1 Feces [produced as a waste product from any] of the five species of grain1 are foul-smelling. [Hence, before reciting the Shema,] one must distance oneself from the feces and urine of a young child who is able to eat an olive-sized portion of grain,2 i.e., of [any of] the five species of grain, just as one must distance oneself [from the waste] of an adult.

[This applies] even if [the child] cannot eat [the grain] unless it was cooked as porridge or the like, provided he does not have to take longer to eat this olive-sized portion than an average adult would take to eat a pras3 of the same food. If it would take him longer [to eat an olive-sized portion], this would be considered as if he were eating half an olive-sized portion now and half tomorrow. For it is a halachah transmitted to Moshe at Mount Sinai that [food] eaten over such a long stretch of time cannot be combined [and considered as a single amount].

The size of an olive-sized portion will be explained in sec. 486[:1]4 and the size of a pras will be explained in sec. 612[:4].5

א קָטָן שֶׁיָּכוֹל לֶאֱכֹל כְּזַיִת דָּגָןא,2 שֶׁהֵם ה' מִינֵי תְּבוּאָהב,1 שֶׁצּוֹאַת מִינִים אֵלּוּ מַסְרַחַת, אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְאָכְלוֹ אֶלָּא עַל יְדֵי בִּשּׁוּלג כְּגוֹן דַּייְסָא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ, אִם אֵין צָרִיךְ לִשְׁהוֹת מִתְּחִלַּת כְּזַיִת זֶה עַד סוֹפוֹ יוֹתֵר מִמַּה שֶּׁגָּדוֹל בֵּינוֹנִי שׁוֹהֶה בַּאֲכִילַת פְּרָסד,3 מִמַּאֲכָל זֶהה – צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק מִצּוֹאָתוֹ וּמִמֵּי רַגְלָיו כְּמוֹ מִשֶּׁל גָּדוֹל. אֲבָל אִם צָרִיךְ לִשְׁהוֹת יוֹתֵר מִכַּאן – הֲרֵי זֶה כְּאוֹכֵל עַכְשָׁו חֲצִי זַיִת וּלְמָחָר חֲצִי זַיִת, שֶׁכֵּן הֲלָכָה לְמֹשֶׁה מִסִּינַי שֶׁאֵין אֲכִילָה מִצְטָרֶפֶת לִשְׁהִיָּה אֲרֻכָּה כָּזוֹ.ו וְשִׁעוּר כַּזַּיִת יִתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן תפ"ו,ז,4 וְשִׁעוּר פְּרָס בְּסִימָן תרי"ב:ח,5

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2 Although a child has reached the age at which others would be able to eat an olive-sized portion [of grain] in the time it would take to eat a pras, if he is weak and cannot [do so], there is no requirement to distance oneself from his feces or urine. [This applies] even if he is three or four years old, (provided he was never able to eat an olive-sized portion of grain in the time it takes to eat a pras).6 If, however, he was once able to [do so] and then became weak [to the extent that] he no longer can, he is considered an adult insofar as one is required to distance oneself from his feces and urine (even though he cannot [eat grain now]).7 [This law applies] even if he has not eaten grain for a long time — and even if he never ate [grain at all]. Although these feces were not from grain, (as long as he was [once] able to eat an olive-sized portion of grain in the time it takes to eat a pras)8 his digestive system will make all food he eats foul-smelling.

All the above applies according to the letter of the law. It is, however, desirable and proper to recite [the Shema] and Shemoneh Esreh in an entirely clean place, even from the feces of a day-old infant (if this is easily accomplished, even though there is no prohibition against [reciting these prayers in such a place]).

ב וְאִם הַקָּטָן הוּא חַלָּשׁ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לֶאֱכֹל כְּזַּיִת בִּכְדֵי אֲכִילַת פְּרָס, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לְשָׁנִים שֶׁאַחֵר כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ יָכוֹל לֶאֱכֹל – אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק מִצּוֹאָתוֹ וּמִמֵּי רַגְלָיו אֲפִלּוּ הוּא בֵּן ג' וד' שָׁנִיםט (א) (וְהוּא שֶׁעֲדַיִןי לֹא הָיָה יָכוֹל לֶאֱכֹל מִיָּמָיו כְּזַיִת דָּגָן בִּכְדֵי אֲכִילַת פְּרָס).6 אֲבָל אִם הָיָה יָכוֹל לֶאֱכֹל פַּעַם אַחַת וְאַחַר כָּךְ נֶחֱלַשׁ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל – דִּינוֹ כְּגָדוֹל שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק מִצּוֹאָתוֹיא וּמִמֵּי רַגְלָיו (וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל).7 וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא אָכַל דָּגָן מִיָּמִים רַבִּים, וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא אָכַל מֵעוֹלָם, שֶׁאַף שֶׁצּוֹאָה זוֹ אֵינָהּ מִדָּגָן מִכָּל מָקוֹם (כָּל שֶׁהָיָה יָכוֹל לֶאֱכֹל כְּזַיִת דָּגָן בִּכְדֵי אֲכִילַת פְּרָס)8 – בְּנֵי מֵעַיִם מַסְרִיחִים כָּל מִינֵי מַאֲכָל שֶׁיֹּאכַל.יב וְכָל זֶה מִן הַדִּין אֲבָל טוֹב וְיָשָׁר לִקְרוֹת וּלְהִתְפַּלֵּל בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁהוּא נָקִי לְגַמְרֵי אֲפִלּוּ מִצּוֹאַת תִּינוֹק בֶּן יוֹמוֹיג (אִם אֶפְשָׁר בְּקַּל, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין אִסּוּר בַּדָּבָריד):

3 If, while standing and reciting Shemoneh Esreh, a person saw feces four cubits [or more] in front of him, (and cannot turn to the side because he must face [in the direction of] the Holy of Holies,) he should walk ahead so that [the feces] be four cubits behind him.

If that is not possible, e.g., a river or some other obstacle is blocking his way, he should move so that [the feces] are four cubits to his side. [This law] also applies to the recitation of the Shema; if it is impossible for him [to move in front of the feces, he should turn to the side].9

[After moving,] he is required to resume only from the point at which he ceased. He [need] not [return] to the beginning of Shemoneh Esreh or the Shema even though he recited Shemoneh Esreh and/or [the Shema] in view of feces. [His prayers] are not considered “an offering of the wicked [which] is an abomination,”10 since [the feces] are not within a radius of four cubits. The rationale is that it is only in that [specific] area that he is required to check for feces if [he is in] a place where it is appropriate to suspect that feces [might be located]. If he does not check [in such circumstances], he is deemed negligent and his prayer is considered an abomination. [The Sages] did not require that he check as far ahead as he can see, even though he is located in a place where it is appropriate to suspect that feces [might be located].

ג אִם הָיָה עוֹמֵד בְּתְפִלָּה וְרָאָה צוֹאָה כְּנֶגְדּוֹטו בָּרִחוּק ד' אַמּוֹת (וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחֲזֹר פָּנָיו מִמֶּנָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְהַחֲזִיר פָּנָיו כְּנֶגֶד בֵּית קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁיםטז) – יֵלֵךְ לְפָנָיו כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּזְרְקֶנָּה מֵאַחֲרָיו ד' אַמּוֹת. וְאִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר כְּגוֹן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְפָנָיו נָהָריז אוֹ דָּבָר אַחֵר הַמְעַכֵּביח – יֵלֵךְ בִּכְדֵי שֶׁיַּנִּיחֶנָּה לִצְדָדִים ד' אַמּוֹת. וְכֵן בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע,יט אִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ.9 וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר אֶלָּא לְמָקוֹם שֶׁפָּסַק וְלֹא לְרֹאשׁ הַתְּפִלָּה אוֹ הַקְּרִיאַת שְׁמַע, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִתְפַּלֵּל וְקָרָא כְּנֶגֶד הַצּוֹאָה,כ לְפִי שֶׁאֵין זֶה "זֶבַח רְשָׁעִים תּוֹעֵבָה",כא,10 כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא הָיְתָה ד' אַמּוֹת סְבִיבוֹ, שֶׁבָּהֶן לְבַדָּם הוּא שֶׁמְּחֻיָּב לִבְדֹּק שֶׁלֹּא תְּהֵא בָּהֶם צוֹאָה אִם הוּא מָקוֹם שֶׁרָאוּי לְהִסְתַּפֵּק בְּצוֹאָה, וְאִם לֹא בָּדַק בָּהֶן פּוֹשֵׁעַ הוּא וּתְפִלָּתוֹ תּוֹעֵבָה,כב אֲבָל לֹא הִטְרִיחוּ לִבְדֹּק לְפָנָיו כִּמְלֹא עֵינָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא בְּמָקוֹם הָרָאוּי לְהִסְתַּפֵּק בּוֹ בְּצוֹאָה:כג