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 Hilchos Kriyas Shema 81 (page 227)
 מתחילת סימן פא עד תחילת סימן פב

The Tzo'ah of an Infant
The Tzo'ah of a Child who Stopped Eating Grain
Inspecting an Area Before Reciting a Davar Sh'bekedusha

The tzo'ah of an infant
It is forbidden to recite a davar sh'bekedusha in the presence of waste from a child who is capable of eating a kzayis of grain within achilas pras (Chazal's measure of the amount of time needed to eat half a loaf of bread). The kzayis must be from one of the 'five grains', eaten either baked or cooked. The contemporary poskim discuss if it is necessary to keep a distance from the tzo'ah of a child who can drink a barley baby cereal (prepared as a drink) if the child can drink a kzayis of it in the time that an adult can drink a revi'is of it. It is also forbidden to recite a davar sh'bekedusha in the presence of urine from such a child.
( סעיף א, ס"ק ב-ד, וביה"ל ד"ה קטן; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 2-4)

The tzo'ah of a child who stopped eating grain
The tzo'ah of a child who was capable of eating a kzayis of grain within the time of achilas pras, but has not done so for several days or has lost this ability because of an illness, is also forbidden. B'dieved, a person does not need to repeat Shmone Esrei in this case, but he should repeat Shema. The tzo'ah of an older child (over the age of six/seven) is likewise forbidden. Although the halacha only mandates a distance from the tzo'ah of a child capable of eating a kzayis as above,  it is recommended to avoid the tzo'ah of any child once it is eight days (and possibly even one day) old. This is not the case with a child's urine.
( ס"ק א-ג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 5)
Inspecting an area before reciting a davar sh'bekedusha
There is a discussion among the poskim as to whether the requirement to inspect an area for uncovered waste before davening pertains only to one's daled amos or whether it also applies to the 'viewable area' before him. The lenient opinion holds that the rule of 'viewable area' applies only when it is known that there is waste matter in front of him. L'chatchila, one should be careful.
( סעיף ב וס"ק יג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 11)

  • If a person has a stomach ailment (whether chronic or acute) and cannot refrain from passing gas even for a few minutes, he should recite Shema without tefillin.
  • Someone who is unsure if he is able to complete Shema or Shemone Esrei without passing gas may begin the tefilla while wearing tefillin. He should not forego connecting geula with tefilla or tefilla betzibur because of this.
  • It is forbidden to recite a davar sh'bekedusha in places where there is an offensive smell that does not readily dissipate. Included in this rule is a garbage dump.

  • A translucent cover

  • Torah thoughts in a clean bathroom

  • Dry tzo'ah




PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.