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Eating or Drinking in the Bathroom

I am a convert to Judaism. I am constantly finding myself seeking more awareness as to what God expects of me. Recently, my wife had a discussion. My position is that since Judaism does not allow one to eat in the bathroom, Jewish law would also forbid a Jew to drink a cup of coffee in the lavatory, as well. Can you please enlighten us?

Answer:

The problem with eating and drinking in the lavatory is not so much the actual eating and drinking, but rather the very bringing in of foods in the toilet. The toilet is considered an “unclean” (spiritually) place, and therefore one should not bring any foods or drinks into the lavatory, for this brings spiritual uncleanliness to cling to the food. It should be noted that some authorities maintain that this principle would not apply to today’s “clean” toilets, but it is nonetheless customary, because of the law above and out of respect for the food and drink, to avoid bringing foods and drink into toilets.

Sources: See Od Yosef Chai, Toldos 6, who compares a toilet to the ruach ra’ah of waking up after the night’s sleep; this position is, however, not accepted by all authorities, and in addition refers to the toilets of the Sages’ times, and not to ours.

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