More Discussions for this daf
1. Mezuzos on places which are Kadosh 2. Checking Mezuzos twice in seven, or fifty, years 3. Mezuzah
4. Mezuzos on gates of cities 5. Frequency of checking Mezuzah 6. Shmuel's Shelichis Mitzvah
7. Contradiction 8. Bedikas Mezuzos 9. בתי כנסת של כפרים לענין מזוזה

Randy Lazarus asked:

(a) if mezuzot are only permitted on rooms which are chol, then it implies stam rooms are in that category (chol). So what about having a sefer torah in your living room? When did the place get the necessary kedushah? And do you have to remove the mezuzah first?

(b) Secondly, I saw (Don't remember where) an opinion that modern

bathrooms are not considered like the outhouses of the gemara's day, because they don't possess the bad odour. Given this, the bathroom, generally, and, more likely, the ante-chamber leading into the bathroom (ie: when there are stalls) might (a) Be fitting for brochos, devrei torah, limud torah, etc and (b) might require a mezuzah

Please discuss. Thanks.

The Kollel replies:

(a) There is no prohibition to affix a Mezuzah to a room which is Kodesh. Rather, there is no obligation to place one there. Similarly, there is no prohibition to place a Sefer Torah in a room which is Kodesh or not Kodesh. There is, however, an obligation to make for it a special Aron into which nothing else is placed except the Sefer Torah.

If there is a Sefer Torah, or an Aron Kodesh, in your living room, that room does not become Kadosh, and it is still permitted to use that room for all purposes of Chol. Likewise, the presence of a Sefer Torah does not exempt the room from a Mezuzah.

(b) Good point. The Gemara in Berachos (26a) discusses the "bathrooms of the Persians" which were built in such a way that the refuse fell through a hole into a pit far in the ground, so that no bad odor was present in the bathroom itself (see Rashi there, DH d'Parsai). That type of bathroom is the foundation of the modern bathroom as we know it, as RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN (Igros Moshe, Even ha'Ezer I:114) posits. Even though our bathrooms do not have bad odors, Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, explicitly rules that it is prohibited to recite blessings there, because the usage of the place is designated for depositing refuse. For that reason as well (the designated usage of the place is for depositing refuse) it is exempt from a Mezuzah.

There are certain leniencies which exist with regard to today's bathrooms which did not exist with regard to bathroom's of yore. For example, Rav Moshe Feinstein says that one may recite a blessing (and learn Torah) while facing an open bathroom of today. Since one is not in the bathroom, and there is no odor coming from it, it is permitted.

Y. Shaw