This might sound incredible ludicrous but please bear with me - after all a fellow Jew once told me how the Shulchan Aruch in a passage described how and when proper defecation should occur (feel free to edit the title and some words - didn't come up with fitting euphemisms).

When I used to live in a dormitory with public bathrooms, my sense of proper bathroom hygiene quickly went down the drain (pun intended) as I quickly came to realize that some people just don't care about the state of the toilet. So at one point I decided to do the same. I used to do my flowing business while standing. Now I moved out and live in a room which has it's own little bathroom. Although I do it sitting I kinda miss the standing position. Feels more natural for me as a man.

In short, does the Shulchan Aruch or the Talmud (which from what I have gathered covers even the most mundane things) or any other writing by Jews in the past (or the present if need be) cover how (in which position) a man should do this thing? (Serious question. I don't like sitting down)


2 Answers 2


The Talmud in Berachot 40a discusses this:

ואמר רבא בר שמואל משום רבי חייא אין מי רגלים כלים אלא בישיבה אמר רב כהנא ובעפר תיחוח אפילו בעמידה ואי ליכא עפר תיחוח יעמוד במקום גבוה וישתין למקום מדרון

Raba b. Samuel also said in the name of R. Hiyya: Urine is never completely discharged except when sitting. R. Kahana said: If over loose earth, even when standing. If there is no loose earth, one should stand on a raised spot and discharge down a declivity.

(Soncino translation)

This is codified in Shulchan Aruch O.C. 3:13:

לא ישתין מעומד מפני ניצוצות הניתזין על רגליו אם לא שיעמוד במקום גבוה או שישתין לתוך עפר תחוח

One should not urinate standing, because of the drops that will splash on his feet, unless he stands in a high place or he urinates onto loose earth.

  • What is considered loose earth in that context? Earth you would come across in a forest?
    – Ilja
    Feb 13, 2020 at 19:14
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    If I remember right, the problem is not an urination problem but a problem of לעז לבניו שהם ממזרים because if there are splashes on his legs, people will tihink he is כרות שפכה so when there is no such Chashash, you can urinate in each position you want. אןי מי רגליים כלים אלא בישיבה is not phisiologic but because a man try to avoid splashes
    – kouty
    Feb 13, 2020 at 22:21
  • Yoma 30a מצוה לשפשף. מסייע ליה לרבי אמי, דאמר רבי אמי: אסור לאדם שיצא בניצוצות שעל גבי רגליו, מפני שנראה ככרות שפכה, ומוציא לעז על בניו שהן ממזרים.
    – kouty
    Feb 13, 2020 at 22:37
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    In our toilets there is no case to splash on the legs so it's perfectly correct to urinate while standing
    – kouty
    Feb 13, 2020 at 22:38

The main issue seems to be splashback, not tznius. It's important to come out of the bathroom not dirty. While I'm hardly a posek, I would imagine that if it's dirtier to sit than to stand, you are better off standing.

Additionally, the Taz says

באמת מי שרוצה להשתין מעומד ורוצה להפסיק כשיהיה סמוך לגמר הקילוח אין עבירה בידו רק מי שרוצה להוציא כל מי רגליו אין לו תיקון אלא מיושב (א"ח ג:יג)

In truth, one who wishes to urinate standing and wishes to stop as he is close to completion of the stream he has not sinned, but one who wishes to release all of his urine has no other solution [for droplets] than sitting (OC 3:13).

Based on this, it seems that, assuming that you don't have to be concerned with droplets you are okay; I would actually take away from this that there is more of an issue standing at a urinal than using a toilet standing up, at least based on modern methods of hygiene and bathroom protocol.

  • The main issue seems to be... not tznius. Although a person should also conduct oneself modestly/privately in the bathroom (B'rachos 62a-b).
    – Fred
    Feb 14, 2020 at 18:30

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