Is there a shiur for the item the soldier is obligated to carry in Devarim 23:14?

וְיָתֵד תִּהְיֶה לְךָ עַל אֲזֵנֶךָ וְהָיָה בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ חוּץ וְחָפַרְתָּה בָהּ וְשַׁבְתָּ וְכִסִּיתָ אֶת צֵאָתֶךָ

And you shall keep a stake in addition to your weapons; and it shall be, when you sit down outside [to relieve yourself], you shall dig with it, and you shall return and cover your excrement.

That is, what types of items qualify for this mitzvah, and what size must they be?

  • Why "you shall return" - and not "you shall sit/squat"? – Danny Schoemann May 4 '14 at 11:13
  • Perhaps when one aquires a shovel, he has an obligation to go back and cover poops that he made without the benefit of a shovel. – Clint Eastwood May 4 '14 at 13:36
  • Looking at the targums, I would be tempted to say it means "and turn around". – Danny Schoemann May 5 '14 at 6:19
That is, what types of items qualify for this mitzvah, and what size must they be?

Surely the answer is any thing that gets the job done!

  • Why "surely"? () – Double AA May 4 '14 at 13:21
  • 1
    Generally speaking things in Halacha have shiurim, even if you could get the job done with less. e.g. the minimum length of a Shofar. Note that the Torah here specifically requires a utensil of some kind, even though you could theoretically get the job done without it. – Yishai May 4 '14 at 18:38
  • @Yishai - agreed. But since we don't find a shiur, not in the Mishna and not in the Rambam, then we have to assume that there is no minimum shiur. – Danny Schoemann May 5 '14 at 6:15
  • so can carrying a pen or a key fulfill the mitzva? – Clint Eastwood May 5 '14 at 15:21
  • @ClintEastwood - why not? If you can dig a hole big enough with it to relieve yourself, and then use it to cover it up when you're done, then it qualifies. – Danny Schoemann May 7 '14 at 7:34

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