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bathroom during learning


Hi! I was in the middle of learning with my chavrusa and needed the bathroom badly (gedolim, not ketanim). The bathroom in that beis medresh is tiny and was full. In the future if this happens, am I obligated to stand there waiting or is there a heter to continue learning until the bathroom opens up?


While you are waiting for the bathroom you may not talk in learning, but you can listen to what your chavrusa has to say, and you may also talk in learning then.


There are three levels regarding a person that has to use the bathroom regarding davening or learning. 1. If the person can wait 72 minutes. 2. If the person will not be able to wait 72 minutes. 3. If the person has a very strong need, at that point to hold it in is ‘baal tishaktzu”. The Shulchan Aruch Horav (3-11) explains that if the urge has gotten to the level that it would exit on its own, and the person needs to “hold it in”, then it is already baal tishaktzu. Regarding learning the Mishna Berura 92-7 says that when a person, reaches level 2, he may not learn until he relieves himself. The poskim however say (Chavas Yair, Machzik Bracha O:CH 3-16, Shevet Hakehosi 6-80, Piskei Teshuvos 92-4) that even if a person has reached level 3, although he may not  talk in learning, he is permitted to think in learning.

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