Question:

Hi, I’d like to know if there is a halachic problem to eat or drink while in a hot tub/Jacuzzi or bathtub?
Does it matter if the Jacuzzi is outdoors and not in a bathroom?
If the toilet is covered, would a bathtub be okay?
Would it matter if the bracha was made before entering bathroom?

Answer:

There is a difference if the Jacuzzi or bathtub is in the bathroom or outdoors. If it is in the bathroom, we may not eat there[1], even if the bracha will be said outside. In fact, food should preferably not be taken into a bathroom at all. If it was taken into the bathroom most poskim[2] say that it is still permitted to eat.  This applies even if the toilet is covered.[3]

If the Jacuzzi, pool or bathtub it is in its own room or outdoors, we are allowed to eat there however when making the bracha before and afterwards we should be properly clothed.  Here are some of the halachos.

  1. A man may not make a bracha when his head is uncovered[4] Someone else may put his hand on his head but he can’t use his own hand[5].
  2. In respect for the bracha that has H-shem’s name in it, a person’s body should be properly covered when making[6] or being yotza[7] a bracha from someone else.
  3. When a man is making a bracha it cannot[8] be “libo roeh as haervah”, meaning that there has to be a separation between the person’s heart and his private parts, (besides that they also have to be covered). This is accomplished if the person is wearing a bathing suit that is snug against the body, or with a shirt that is snug, or even if it isn’t one can press it against the body while saying the bracha[9].

If the person body is covered by water[10], he may place his hands against his body, to make this separation.

(There is a small preference[11] for women to do this also).

  1. We may not make a bracha when we can see someone else’s[12] This would include a man’s genitals, or any part of a woman (even one’s wife that has to be covered, including her hair). This issue can be solved by simply turning[13] to another direction, (closing one’s eyes doesn’t help for this.)
  2. A woman may[14] make a bracha even if other women are partially undressed, however if they are standing completely undressed then she may not.

Sources:

[1] Be’er Hetiv O:CH 3-2

[2] Ben Ish Chai, Chayei Sara6,M:B 166-7, Har Tzvi 1-50,MInchas Yitzchok 3-53, Teshuvos Vhanhagos 1-11, Ohr Ltzion 1-1 and 2-1(9). Note food may be stored or brought into a shower room, see Teshuvos Vhanhagos ibid, Ishei Yisroel 53, ftnt. 82.

[3] As our bathroom are also considered a bathroom since the refuse stays there a little bit, and also because the toilet is a graf shel rei. See Minchas Yitzchok 1-60, Chelkas Yackov 1-205, Tzitz Eliezer 7-5, Chazon Ish O:CH 16-4 and 11.

[4] O:CH 206-3,

[5] M:B 74-7.

[6] M:B 74-22

[7] Bach O:CH 183, and p\Pri Megadim M:Z 3, Kaf Hachaim ibid 26.

[8] O:CH 74-1, M:B ibid 4 and 5,

[9] M:B ibid 7and 14.

[10] O:CH ibid 3 M:B ibid 14.

[11] M:B ibid 16, Kaf Hachaim74-17.

[12] Rema O:CH 74-1

[13] O:CH 75-6, M:B 27.

[14] M:B 75- 8.

Tags: brachos swimming

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