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Is there any problem with reciting a b'racha (or other devarim shebikedusha) underneath a second-floor bathroom?

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Is there a smell? –  SimchasTorah Aug 24 '10 at 4:19
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Let's assume not. –  Dave Aug 24 '10 at 4:55

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There are two issues with bathrooms learned from parashas ki seitzei (Machlokes Rashba and Rosh). The first is v'haya machanecha kadosh- which disallows you saying Hashem's name when you are in the same room or within 4 amos of tzoah or its smell. The second is v'lo yerae b'cha ervas davar- which disallows you from saying Hashem's name when your eyes are in viewing range of tzoah. We are machmir for both shittos. (succinctly stated by the hakdama to the mishna brura 79)

So if you are 4 amos away from the tzoah/smell+outside the bathroom and looking in the opposite direction, you can make a bracha. Certainly downstairs from a bathroom. (I recall a shittah that considers the toilet being halachically equivalent to tzoah, but can't remember where that is or if it applies to our toilets.)

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Could it be a problem establishing an official Beis HaKnesses in that spot? A little searching turned up the following: נכון להזהר לכתחלה היכא דאפשר, שלא לעשות בית כנסת תחת דירה של גוי, שבודאי אין הגוי נמנע מלהשתמש בעליית בית הכנסת תשמיש של גנאי, או שיש עבודה זרה וכדומה. ובדיעבד שכבר עשו בית כנסת תחת דירות של גויים, יש להתיר בזה, בפרט אם הוא לזמן עראי. ואין להקפיד להמשיך לקיים את בית הכנסת, שכל תפלות מופנות לבית המקדש, ומשם עולות לשמימה. ויחיד הדר בבנין קומות, ומעליו דרים גויים, מותר לו להתפלל בביתו. [ילקו''י, הלכות ביהכ''נ עמוד רסח]. –  Dave Aug 24 '10 at 15:04
    
True. Last seif in O.C. 151. It's kedusha is comparable to the heichal in which the aliya takes on kedusha. In addition, the Mishna Brerura assurs your case (tashmish maus) even where the shul was established after the aliya was in use. –  YDK Aug 24 '10 at 18:40

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