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Needing the bathrooom

Question:

Hello Rabbi,
I am embarrassed to ask this but I hope you can help me. Sometimes I withhold bowel movements because I am busy with other tasks and want to finish first. I know this is not allowed–I am able to “hold it” for a long time (longer than 72 minutes after) because I then may get constipated and not have to go for a few more hours. I am trying to learn from this but feel so guilty. Does everyone make mistakes? Is there anything that needs to be done about it?
(Some sort of washing to “spiritually clean”? Atonement? Keep trying to do better?)

Thank you so much

Answer:

A person that has to use the bathroom, may not say brachos, or daven etc. however it is permitted for them to continue doing other things. If however the feeling is that strong that the person has to “hold it in”, or if the person cannot divert their attention from the feeling, then it is considered baal tishaktzu, to hold it in any longer. Additionally, it is not a healthy thing to do, and we have to watch our health. In retrospect, try to correct this for the future.

Best wishes

Sources:

O:CH 3-17, Shulchan Aruch Horav 3-11.

 

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