I see that this M.Y. question mentions "unusual" applications of saying "Asher Yatzar". The answers all state that one should say it "after going to the bathroom". I understand this term means specifically "urinating or defacting" even if one were to do this in the forest.

Does this also apply to someone who empties via a colostomy bag or using a dyalisis machine. In both cases, excretion of bodily waste occurs, but it is not done in the usual way via the urethra or anus.

So when it says "going to the bathroom" are they referring to the type of waste (specifically urine and feces), the method used, or is it some other criteria?

Additionally, assuming that a person would say it. When? Can he say it while the bag or machine is present or wait until emptying the colostomy bag? It emits a foul odor.

  • The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch mentions about someone who takes a laxative does not have to say "Asher Yatzar" every time he relieves himself, so I assume the answer would be similar. (Kitzur S''A, 5:6)
    – ezra
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 14:42
  • @ezra I'll see if I can look at this, later. I'm not sure if taking laxatives would be the same category as the cases that I mentioned. I'd have to see the reasoning behind that decision. If KSA mentions anything, please include that as part of an answer.
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


R. Tzvi P. Frank (Har Zvi OC 6) was asked about one who has to relieve himself via a catheter and ruled that Asher Yazar is recited because there still exists the possibility of a malfunction and "disconnect" in which case the person would be left in pain. This opinion appears to be the consensus among contemporary poskim (cf. Birchat Eitan, Bnei Brak 2007, pg. 445). Now, although R. Frank may have been discussing a case where the catheter was inserted via the urethra, one may not be amiss in applying his reasoning to both dialysis and colostomy as well. Indeed R. Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer vol. 8 no. 1, end) applies the same to one who has a "catheter running into the stomach" (colostomy?) or via the kidney that he does recite the blessing. However, students of R. Shlomo Z. Auerbach record in his name (Halichos Shlomo, ch. 20, sec. Dvar Halacha n. 43) that while one on dialysis is obligated to thank God for the successful procedure he does not recite Asher Yazar since the blessing was not instituted where the body cleanses itself in this manner. R. Yitzchok Liebes (Beis 'Avi vol. 2 no. 22), after considering the same argument proposed by R. Auerbach, ruled that one should still recite the blessing even though the cleansing is not done the natural way; so ruled R. Isaac Herzog too (Heichal Yitzchok OC 4).

Re. the time to recite the blessing and what to do with the receptacle, the consensus from the above sources appear to rule that if there is a continuous drip, or one is not able to realize when any discharge occurred they should recite the blessing once in the morning and have in mind for the rest of the day. If, however, they can know or feel every time they were relieved they should recite it each time. The receptacle may be present as long as it is enclosed and does not emit a foul odor. If it contains feces or is in a clear tube it should be covered.

  • I see that this is a dupe of my own question. Would you mind cutting / pasting your answer from here to there?
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 22:15
  • @DanF Sure, though I imagine if I c&p on a mobile the links won't transfer so I'll try to do it later.
    – Oliver
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 22:19
  • @DanF seems to work on mobile too
    – Oliver
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 22:34

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