Section: Halacha   Category: Daily Halacha
How Unholy Are Our Bathroom Walls?

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 83:1) paskens that you may daven near a bathroom, on the other side of the wall. The Mogen Avrohom argues and says that you should not be lenient even if there is a complete wall. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (5:12) paskens that you may not daven even within four amos of a bathroom wall even if the bathroom is perfectly clean.

The She'arim Metzuyanim B'Halacha says that today this whole machlokes is irrelevant. In those days the bathroom was an outhouse in the yard. Therefore the wall served only the bathroom and was considered a bathroom wall. The issur of davening near the bathroom wall is not because you are near the bathroom, but rather because a bathroom wall itself is not something you should stand near when davening.

Today the bathroom is a room inside the house and the wall has a dual purpose. It not only supports the bathroom but it is a wall for the house as well. This is not called a bathroom wall for the purpose of prohibiting standing next to it by davening.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.