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The Asher Yatzar lays out a new model of life: one in which life is not a static, but rather a dynamic state of instability. This instability is based on life’s mode of operation, which is to continually open and close orifices for breathing, eating, and voiding. As a result, life is constantly healing and changing, and presenting new challenges to the human condition.
Many people wonder how to pray for the end of incontinent urination after receiving the Asher Yatzar blessing. In fact, the blessing itself is a source of controversy. Many rabbis disagree about whether it is proper to thank God for allowing us to pee in our pants after receiving the blessing. While the Talmud does mention the blessing for peeing in the pants, its exact meaning is unclear.
Incontinence is a sign that a person has not recited the Asher Yatzar properly. Some authorities claim that one should recite it twice. However, the Bach Siman, which cites Rav Asher Weiss, holds that one should only recite the blessing once if a person is unable to relieve himself naturally. Another view is held by the Kaf Hachayim, which states that the blessing should be recited only once.
After receiving the Asher Yatzar blessing, a person should find a suitable place to urinate. To avoid being denied access to the Qibla, one should enter the area with one foot facing the direction of the prayer. A Muslim should recite the prayer, “Allahumma inni a’udu bika mina al-Hubuti wa-al-Habaiti.”
In addition to the two sources cited above, the Gemara writes that one should recite Netilat Yadayim as soon as a person gets out of the bathroom. It does not cite that a person must make the Asher Yatzar after Davening, as a delay will delay the completion of the blessing. This means that it is obligated to do it before Netilat Yadayim.
Good news after a tantrum
If you’re suffering from incontinence or medical problems, you’re probably wondering if you can use the Asher Yatzar blessing to solve your problem. This blessing is intended for people who have to use the restroom regularly and are grateful for the work of HKBH. Fortunately, there are a few caveats to this blessing. If you suffer from incontinence, however, you shouldn’t use it to deal with a tantrum. Instead, you should focus on the positive aspects of your condition and thank the HKBH for its work.
Bad news after a tantrum
Did you know that you must say the Asher Yatzar blessing two times in order to be considered to have fulfilled its mitzvah? According to the author of the Vayetzei n.2 in the Shulchan Aruch, reciting this blessing while you are doing other things, like walking, is inappropriate. Therefore, you must take extra care while saying it.
There is a common misconception that saying the Asher Yatzar blessing immediately after the bathroom is required. This is not true. Rather, it is permissible to say the blessing after you use the bathroom, and it is even better to make it before you go back to the restroom. However, the Mishna Brurah 643:5 cites the Shlah as saying that you should try to say the blessing aloud as much as possible. That way, you can inspire kavana.
In some cases, an Asher Yatzar blessing may not help with an incontinence issue. The Abaye objected to this, and suggests an alternative blessing to be recited before urination and once one exits the latrine. If the individual is using a urinary catheter, however, he should recite the blessing in the morning. This blessing is said to apply to all urination throughout the day, not just one or two.
The Asher Yatzar blessing is a tefillah, or bathroom Berakha, recited before urination, regardless of the amount. Those who urinate after an Asher Yatzar blessing should be greeted by the rabbi’s presence. The blessing is not recited if the person pees more than once in 24 hours, but it is advised for people with kidney disease.
Jewish tradition recommends reciting the Asher Yatzar blessing after excretion. This blessing honors the complexity of the human body and thanks Hashem for its miraculous functioning on a daily basis. In fact, it is part of the morning’s Birchat HaShachar prayer. It is said as a gesture of gratitude and acknowledgement for the miracles of the body and the ability to excrete.
Several Mishnas say that it is preferable to make the Asher Yatzar after the bathroom visit. They say that it is inappropriate to wait until Davening, as one may have to go again before making Asher Yatzar. Likewise, Birur Halacha, v. 2 siman 7 p. 43, quotes Shaar Shlomo Zarafia: “A person should make the Asher Yatzar up to toch kdei dibbur.”