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Suppose I find myself in a public building, in need of a restroom, with a chumash in my hand that is too large to fit in a pocket. Outside the restroom, in a painted cinderblock hallway, there is no surface on which to place the book down other than the ground. Inside the restroom there are several (moderately clean) surfaces which could keep it out of harm's way.

Which is the preferable place to leave the chumash - on the ground outside the room or on a shelf inside it?

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Would it perhaps depend on whether the surface on which to place the book in the restroom is in the same technical room as the toilet (or whether, on the contrary, the only toilet there is in a stall)? –  msh210 Jun 24 '11 at 4:10
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would assume you'd rely on the opinions that today's indoor-plumbing bathrooms don't have the same halachic status as outhouses. Especially if there's a shelf by the sink, not in the stalls.

If you could double-bag the book first, you'd be all set; but the question assumes you have no magic tools handy.

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