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I know that I'm not supposed to think about Torah in the bathroom so I tried to think about not thinking about Torah in the bathroom. But I realized that if I think about the halacha of not thinking about Torah, then I'm thinking about halacha which is Torah, while in the bathroom. So I tried not thinking about that because of the halacha but that's still thinking about Torah by remembering that there's a halacha not to think about it.

I have decided that I can not go to the bathroom until I get some practical advice about how not to think about Torah without thinking about the fact that I'm not thinking about Torah.


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closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio Mar 4 '18 at 3:26

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  • 1
    Believe it or not, this has actually happened to me in real life. :P – ezra Feb 22 '18 at 21:29
  • I think that you're thinking too much about the problem, and that IS the problem, my friend. – DanF Feb 22 '18 at 21:44
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    I tried thinking about not thinking about it, but I'm not sure if I succeeded. – rosends Feb 22 '18 at 21:48
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    @ezra And you think YOU got problems? See my previous comment. Besides my answer, try to eat less chulent. It causes a greater frequency of the rest room thinking problems. – DanF Feb 22 '18 at 22:43
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    @SAH Hashem is helping me in that regard by allowing me to have less and less hair. – rosends Feb 23 '18 at 0:13
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Shmuel II 19:20 suggests to not think:

אל-יחשוב

Don't think.

Indeed, Tehillim 32:2 praises one who does not think:

אשרי אדם--לא יחשוב

Praiseworthy is the man who does not think.

So, as long as you just don't think, you'll be ok.

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    is that a general edict? – rosends Feb 22 '18 at 21:37
  • +1 for the clever answer, despite the fact that I disagree with your suggestion. It sounds "stupid". – DanF Feb 22 '18 at 22:00
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Your problem is classical case of recursion.

Wikipedia says:

Recursion is the process a procedure goes through when one of the steps of the procedure involves invoking the procedure itself. A procedure that goes through recursion is said to be 'recursive'.

To understand recursion, one must recognize the distinction between a procedure and the running of a procedure. A procedure is a set of steps based on a set of rules. The running of a procedure involves actually following the rules and performing the steps. An analogy: a procedure is like a written recipe; running a procedure is like actually preparing the meal.

You think about the halacha that says not to think about it, but you're using that halacha to avoid thinking about it, again.

Essentially, what you need to do is not to perform the procedure at some point. One answer mentioned, here suggests not to think - at all. That doesn't solve the problem, at all, because you need to think about something at some time. People that never think are, well, just plainly stupid. That's not you, and you don't want to be stupid, believe me.

You just need something that helps you stop thinking about halacha when you enter the bathroom. There are many simple things that you can do.

For one thing, you can excrete without lifting the toilet seat. Trust me - within a few seconds, you won't be thinking about halacha or anything else other than how to clean up the damage before your wife finds out what you did. Then, you'll be thinking of some clever excuse to explain to her why you did it.

Best of luck to you. You, indeed, have a bigger problem than you think!

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    most people that never think are dead – LiquidMetal Feb 23 '18 at 6:04
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    @LiquidMetal or part of the US government – Nico Feb 23 '18 at 7:38

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