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field conditions for restroom


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Shevat 15, 5776
My position often requires me to work alone in remote parts of the countryside many miles from the neatest restroom facilities. What guidelines should I follow when I have to use the restroom in the field? And upon completion, either 1. find myself with only a jug of water from the truck, or 2. Have ran out of sanitary water or soap? Thanks
ב"ה Shalom Your question shows your desire to see how the Torah applies to every situation, which is very important, because some people just lose their bearings and become uninhibited when they are not in natural surroundings. The Torah speaks about your situation, though the conditions described in the Torah are battle conditions. The Torah says "cover your excrement". (Devarim 23:14), which applies particularly to feces.(Talmud Berachot 25a). According to the Shulchan Aruch when doing bodily functions in an open area , you should try to find a discreet place behind a wall, bush or the like. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 3:8) In regard to washing of the hands afterwards, though it is preferable to do so with a utensil, after going to the bathroom it is not an absolute requirement so you can just rinse your hands with water or use hand sanitizer which is so readily available today. (Mishna Brura 4:61). All the best
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