I know the Shulchan Aruch is very makpid about making sure that there is no feces on one’s body after bathroom use because one can’t daven or say brachos or kriat shma if there is feces on the body especially in the back area, what happens if one has a medical issue where directly after the bathroom one can not find any trace of feces (on the toilet paper) usually because of hemoroidal inflammation, but after a few minutes there often but not always is feces if one were to wipe. Does one have an obligation to wipe 10 minutes later and not daven or learn or say brachos for those 10 minutes, or can we say that we are not angels and that as long as after the bathroom one is clean, there is no need to worry?


As you write, Shulchan Aruch (76:5) is very particular about being completely clean when one comes to daven and to learn Torah. Yet, as you also write, the Torah was not given to ministering angels, but rather to human beings, and provided you cannot find any trace of feces, it is permitted to pray, to learn Torah, and so on.

In your particular case, however, you know that after a number of minutes you are liable to be dirty. Therefore, although it is permitted to learn and daven straight after you know that you are clean, you are obligated to check yourself after ten minutes, to ensure once again that you are clean. This is especially true for krias shema and for tefillah,  before which you should make sure that you are completely clean.

Sources: See Mishnah Berurah 76:17, concerning krias shema and prayer. According to Nishmas Adam (3:6), the issue is only rabbinic (derabanan), and not de’oraisa, which permits one to be lenient, provided he does not know that he is dirty. [Though some argue with this.] In the case described, even after ten minutes there is no certainly of being dirty, and therefore one may recite berachos, and so on. See also Divrei Chaim (2:9), and especially Eshel Avraham (76), who imply that a miniscule amount of feces is not considered a problem, and only an amount that can give off a foul scent is cause for concern.See, at length, Keneh Bosem, Orach Chaim, no. 7.

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