Asher yatzar

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Asher yatzar (Hebrew: ברכת) אשר יצר) "Who [has] formed [man(kind)]") is a blessing in Judaism. It is traditionally recited after engaging in an act of excretion,[1] but is also included in many Jewish prayer books as a part of daily prayer prior to Birkat HaShachar.[2]

The purpose of this blessing is to thank God for good health.[1] It expresses thanks having the ability to excrete, for without it, existence would be impossible.[3]

Though recited normally by observant Jews each time excretory functions are used, hence giving it the name the "bathroom blessing",[4] it is also recited during the Shacharit service due to its spiritual significance (to Jews, humans are made in God's image, so it is an expression of awe toward God's creations).[5]

Process[edit]

After completing urination and or defecation and upon leaving the bathroom, the person washes their hands. According to Jewish etiquette, this should be done outside the bathroom, but if there is no source of water available outside the bathroom, it is permissible to wash one's hands inside the bathroom, then dry them outside. No al netilat yadayim blessing is recited for the handwashing.[6]

Following the washing and drying of one's hands, the asher yatzar blessing is recited -

"Blessed are You, Hashem our God, King of the universe, Who formed man with wisdom and created within him many openings and many hollows. It is obvious and known before Your Throne of Glory that if even one of them ruptures, or if even one of them becomes blocked, it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You (even for a short period). Blessed are You, Hashem, Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously."

People with medical issues[edit]

There is no consensus as to whether or not (or how often) a person with medical issues should recite asher yatzar:[7]

  • A person suffering from incontinence should recite the blessing after urination, even if it is involuntary
  • One who has no bowel or bladder control does not recite the blessing at all
  • One who, as a result of a medication, feels an interrupted need to urinate, should recite the blessing a single time after s/he has emptied his/her bladder
  • One who has a urinary catheter is considered to engage in a single act of urination lasting the entire day, so the catheter's wearer should recite the blessing once in the morning with the intent that it apply to all urination for the entire day.
  • One who has diarrhea should recite the blessing after each diarrhea
  • One who has taken a laxative should not recite the blessing until the laxative has done its work
  • One whose mind is not completely settled due to an illness is exempt

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Every person's guide to Jewish prayer – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  2. ^ Shaarei halachah: a summary of laws ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  3. ^ 1,001 Questions and Answers on Rosh ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  4. ^ God in your body: Kabbalah ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  5. ^ 1,001 Questions and Answers on Rosh ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  6. ^ Shaarei halachah: a summary of laws ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of Jewish medical ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 

External links[edit]