Is one allowed to take food into the bathroom? I heard that the prohibition is only on the type of bathroom used years ago.

1 Answer 1


Is one allowed to take food into the bathroom?

Eating in the bathroom is forbidden,(Be'er Heitev O.C. 3:2)even if it is covered.(Lekutei Maharich page 226 (new),Yabea Omer 4:5:3,see Minchas Yitzchok 3:63 who questions the reason not to bring food into a bathroom) we do not find that the poskim expressly prohibit bringing food into a bathroom. Surely b'diavad, food, drinks, vitamins or medicines that were stored there do not become forbidden to ingest.(Minchas Yitzchak 3:63)Some poskim suggest that if possible the food should be washed off prior to eating it.( Yaskil Avdi 7:44:9:page 64, Otzros Yosef )One is permitted to keep medicines in a medicine cabinet that is in the bathroom.(Rivevos Ephraim 1:8:2, 2:6, Teshuvos V'hanhugos 1:11, Shevet Ha'kehusi 2:245)Some say one is permitted to drink water from the faucet in a bathroom (one should obviously recite the beracha outside).(Ohr L'tzyion 1:1, 2:1:9. One should nonetheless try to drink the water outside (Ohr L'tzyion 2:1:9))

What about todays Bathrooms?

There is a major dispute among the poskim whether or not today's modern day bathrooms are considered to be like the bathrooms of earlier times. Ealier style toilets did not retain waste materials and were known as "parsoy."(Gemorah Berochos 26a, Rashi d'parsoy," Shulchan Aruch 83:4.) In present day toilets the waste remains until it is flushed away. Nonetheless, many poskim say that our bathrooms are considered the same as the olden style bathrooms and one can be lenient in regard to the halachos that apply.(Minchas Yitzchok 1:60, Yechaveh Da'as 3:1, Ohr L'tyzion 1:1, 2:1:9, Shearim Metzuyanim B'Halacha 1:2:6) However, most poskim argue.(Har Tzvi O.C. 1:50, Chazzon Ish O.C. 17:4, Igros Moshe E.H. 1:114,Halichos Shlomo Tefilla 20:24, Yabea Omer 3:2) Therefore, in case of necessity one can rely on the lenient view, but l'chatchilah our bathrooms do not have the status of the bathrooms of "parsoy."(Minchas Yitzchok 1:60)

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    Just for clarification, when the gemara/poskim talk about "their" bathrooms, those were worse than ours because they retained waste. In brachos 26a, in order to answer a question, the gemara makes an ukimta that the case at hand is refering to a Parsa'i toilet where the waste drops away (not the norm for them). Like you said, the poskim debate if our toilets are like the Parsa'i toilets.
    – YDK
    Jul 6, 2010 at 18:59
  • 2
    Its hard to forbid something not forbidden by the Torah, Neviim, Mishnah, Tosefta, Sifra, Sifrei, Mechilta, Bavli, Yerushalmi, Geonim, Rambam, Rishonim in general, Tur, and Shulchan Arukh.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 12, 2016 at 22:44
  • @mevaqesh - if it's not forbidden by any sources you cited, what do the above poskim base their ruling on?
    – user17319
    Nov 5, 2020 at 23:10

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