SECTION 78 [Laws Relating to] One who had to Urinate while Reciting [the Shema]. (1–4)

סימן עח מִי שֶׁנִּצְטָרֵךְ לְהָטִיל מַיִם בִּשְׁעַת קְרִיאָה וּבוֹ ד' סְעִיפִים:

1 If one was reciting the Shema and urine began to trickle over his knees, he should suspend [his recitation] until it ceases and then resume his recitation.1 [He may do so] even if [the urine] dripped onto his clothes and they are moist to the extent that the moisture can be actually felt,2 since [the urine] is covered by his outer garment. If he was delayed for the amount of time it takes to recite the entire Shema, he must return to its beginning, as stated in sec. 65[:1].3

א הָיָה קוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וְהִתְחִילוּ מֵי רַגְלָיו שׁוֹתְתִין עַל בִּרְכָּיו – פּוֹסֵק עַד שֶׁיִּכְלוּ לִשְׁתֹת, וְחוֹזֵר לִקְרוֹת,א,1 אֲפִלּוּ נָפְלוּ עַל בְּגָדָיו וְיֵשׁ בָּהֶם טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ,ב,2 כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֵם מְכֻסִים בַּבֶּגֶד הָעֶלְיוֹן.ג וְאִם שָׁהָה כְּדֵי לִגְמֹר אֶת כֻּלָּהּ – חוֹזֵר לָרֹאשׁ,ד כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ס"ה:ה,3

2 If the urine reached the ground, he should distance himself four cubits away from it.4 If he is in a place where it could be absorbed in the earth rapidly, he may wait until it becomes absorbed.5 We are not concerned that he may be delayed in waiting until he could have recited the entire [Shema] and thus be required to return to the beginning, because even if he did, there is no prohibition in reciting the Shema twice, for this is like reading the Torah. (Nevertheless, initially, one should not delay to this extent, as will be explained in sec. 85.)

If this occurs while one is standing and reciting Shemoneh Esreh, he should not wait until [the urine] is absorbed in the ground, lest he will [have to] wait the length of time it takes to recite it in its entirety. He would then be required to return to the beginning and thus bring about the unnecessary recitation of a blessing.6 Instead, he should either distance himself four cubits away, or go to another room and complete Shemoneh Esreh there.

ב וְאִם נָפְלוּ מֵי רַגְלַיִם בָּאָרֶץ – מַרְחִיק מֵהֶם ד' אַמּוֹת.ו,4 וְאִם הוּא מָקוֹם שֶׁיְּכוֹלִין לִבָּלַע בַּקַּרְקַע בִּמְהֵרָה – יָכוֹל לְהַמְתִּין עַד שֶׁיִּבָּלְעוּ.ז,5 וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁהֶה בְּהַמְתָּנָה זוֹ כְּדֵי לִגְמֹר אֶת כֻּלָּהּ וְיִצְטָרֵךְ לַחֲזֹר לָרֹאשׁ, לְפִי שֶׁאַף אִם יִהְיֶה כֵּן – אֵין כָּאן אִסּוּר בַּמֶּה שֶׁקּוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע ב' פְּעָמִים, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא כְּקוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָהח (וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם לְכַתְּחִלָּה אֵין לִשְׁהוֹת כָּל כָּךְ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן פ"ה). אֲבָל אִם אֵרַע כֵּן כְּשֶׁעוֹמֵד בַּתְּפִלָּהט – לֹא יַמְתִּין עַד שֶׁיִּבָּלְעוּ, כִּי שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁהֶה כְּדֵי לִגְמֹר אֶת כֻּלָּהּ וְיִצְטָרֵךְ לַחֲזֹר לָרֹאשׁ וְיִגְרֹם בְּרָכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה,6 אֶלָּא יַרְחִיק ד' אַמּוֹת אוֹ יֵצֵא לְחֶדֶר אַחֵר וְיִגְמֹר שָׁם תְּפִלָּתוֹ:י

3 When does the above apply? When his outer garment is clean and covers the urine that dripped onto on his inner garments. If, however, the stain of the urine on his garments is exposed and thus, even if he moves four cubits away, he will not be reciting She­moneh Esreh in a state of cleanliness, he should not interrupt [its] recitation at all. Instead, he should complete it in the place where he is standing, even though there is exposed urine there.

He is not required to change his clothes even if he has a change available, for once he has passed urine, the prohibition against [reciting the Shema] in view of it is only Rabbinic in origin.7 Hence [the Sages] did not trouble him to interrupt his prayers and put on other clothes, since he is already in the midst of his prayers at a point at which he is forbidden to make an interruption by putting on clothes.8 Even if he desires to undertake a stringent stance, he does not have license to do so.9 This is not the case with regard to distancing himself by four cubits when one’s outer garment is clean, [for] this does not involve any trouble at all (and also it is not considered as as great an interruption as putting on a garment).

ג בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? כְּשֶׁבִּגְדוֹ הָעֶלְיוֹן נָקִי וּמְכַסֶּה עַל מֵי רַגְלַיִם שֶׁנָּפְלוּ עַל בְּגָדִים הַתַּחְתּוֹנִים, אֲבָל אִם לִכְלוּךְ מֵי רַגְלַיִם שֶׁבִּבְגָדָיו הוּא מְגֻלֶּה, שֶׁאַף אִם יִרְחַק ד' אַמּוֹת לֹא יִתְפַּלֵּל בִּנְקִיּוּתיא – לֹא יַפְסִיק תְּפִלָּתוֹ כְּלָל,יב אֶלָּא גּוֹמְרָהּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁעוֹמֵד שָׁםיג אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמֵּי רַגְלָיו מְגֻלִּין.יד וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲלִיף בְּגָדָיו אֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ לוֹ, שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁלְּאַחַר שֶׁנָּפְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ מֵי רַגְלָיו אֵין אִסּוּרָן אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים7 – לֹא הִטְרִיחוּהוּ לְהַפְסִיק תְּפִלָּתוֹטו וְלִלְבֹּשׁ בְּגָדִים אֲחֵרִים, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד כְּבָר בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ שֶׁאָסוּר לְהַפְסִיק בָּהּ בִּלְבִישַׁת הַבֶּגֶד.טז,8 וְגַם אִם בָּא לְהַחֲמִיר עַל עַצְמוֹ – אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי.יז,9 מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בְּהַרְחָקַת ד' אַמּוֹת כְּשֶׁבִּגְדוֹ הָעֶלְיוֹן נָקִי – אֵין בָּהּ טֹרַח כְּלָל (וְגַם אֵינָהּ חֲשׁוּבָה הֶפְסֵק כָּל כָּךְ כְּמוֹ לְבִישַׁת בֶּגֶדיח):

4 If an ailment constantly causes urine to drip involuntarily, and thus such an individual would never be able to pray, he should cover his organ with a cloth in order that his outer garments are clean and then enter the synagogue and pray.10 While the urine is dripping he should interrupt [his prayers], and [when it ceases] he should resume from the point at which he stopped. He should, however, be careful not to begin praying when he already feels the need [to pass urine]. Nevertheless, even if he knows that in the midst of his prayers the dripping will resume, this is of no consequence, because it is impossible for him to wait until he becomes clean.11 (See sec. 80[:1].)

ד מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חֳלִי שֶׁמְּטַפְטֵף תָּמִיד מֵי רַגְלַיִם לְאָנְסוֹ, וְאִם כֵּן לֹא יוּכַל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לְעוֹלָם – יַעֲשֶׂה לוֹ בֶּגֶד סְבִיב אֵיבָרוֹ, כְּדֵי שֶׁבְּגָדִים הָעֶלְיוֹנִים יִהְיוּ נְקִיִּים וְיִכָּנֵס לְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת וְיִתְפַּלֵּל.10 וּבִשְׁעַת הַטָּפַת מֵי רַגְלַיִם – יַפְסִיק וְאַחַר כָּךְ יַחֲזֹר לְמָקוֹם שֶׁפָּסַק, רַק יִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא יַתְחִיל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל כְּשֶׁהֻצְרַךְ כְּבָר לְטַפְטֵף. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ שֶׁבְּתוֹךְ תְּפִלָּתוֹ יִצְטָרֵךְ לְטַפְטֵף – אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לְהַמְתִּין עַד שֶׁיִּטַּהֵריט,11 (עַיֵּן סִימָן פ'כ):