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One may not learn Torah in the bathroom. May one learn Torah that pertains to halachos of the bathroom that came up in the bathroom, or must one leave the bathroom, check the halachah, and return to the bathroom?

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    Do you have any reason to think it might be permitted. | If the prohibition is rooted in the disrespect to Torah, it would presumably be similarly disrespectful. | Are you specifically asking about laws that relate to a halakhic question at hand? – mevaqesh Dec 18 '16 at 2:14
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The Rama 85:2 brings down that it is not permitted to learn halachos of bathhouse in a bathhouse, so certainly learning bathroom halachos in the bathroom is prohibited (Bathroom is more strict than a bathhouse)

אפילו להרהר בדברי תורה אסור בבית הכסא ובבית המרחץ ומקום הטינופת והוא המקום שיש בו צואה ומי רגלים.

הגה: ואפילו הלכות המרחץ אסור ללמוד במרחץ (ר"ן פרק כירה ובית יוסף בשם אורחות חיים).

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See Magen Avraham OC 84, sk 2:

אם שאל לו אדם דבר הלכה אסור לומר לו "אין משיבין במרחץ". ובבית האמצעי שרי לומר כך. הרוצה לשתות בבית המרחץ יברך בחוץ ע"מ לשתות בפנים.‏

If someone asks him Halacha in bathroom, one is prohibited to answer: "It is prohibited to answer an halacha in bathroom!" One can say this only at the average part of the bathroom in which some people are naked and some else are dressed (Gemara Avoda Zara 44b) .

So it seems that even halachot of the bathroom should not be said.


AZ 44b:

Proclos, son of a philosopher, put a question to R' Gamaliel in Acco when the latter was bathing in the bath of aphrodite. He said to him, it is written in your torah, and there shall cleave nought of the devoted thing to thine hand; why are you bathing in the bath of Aphrodite? ' he replied to him, we may not answer [questions relating to torah] in a bath....

GEMARA: But how did [R`Gamaliel] act in this manner? ... A Tanna taught: When he came out, he replied to him, 'We may not answer [questions relating to Torah] in a bath'.

We see the prohibition to teach hilchot bathroom in bathroom.

The words of the Magen Avraham is based on the words of RI in Tosfot AZ 44b (the first Tosfot of the page).

must one leave the bathroom, check the halachah, and return to the bathroom?

--> Of course.

Regarding the status of modern bathroom versus Bet hamerchats in the times of Chachamim, see this post.

  • After coming back to this post, I realize that this doesn't exactly answer the question. Halachos pertaining to the bathroom, sure. But halachos for which there is an immediate need to know the answer could possibly be permissible. – DonielF Mar 16 '17 at 3:51
  • @DonielF immediate , you mean pikuach nefesh? – kouty Mar 16 '17 at 4:33
  • Not necessarily, but a shaalah which needs to be answered now. – DonielF Mar 16 '17 at 11:17
  • @DonielF this is not the case of the Gemara? I can think perhaps to a case of leafrushe meisura, which needs an immediate intervention, more than an explanation. – kouty Mar 16 '17 at 11:34
  • I'm in the bathroom, and there's something in the bathroom that needs to be done. Must I leave the bathroom to ask the shaaleh, or can I think about it in the bathroom? The case in Kol HaTzelamim did not need to be addressed in the bathroom. – DonielF Mar 16 '17 at 11:36

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