2. Question: Why is one allowed to enter a
bathroom or bathhouse without a halachic question fully answered but cannot
start Shemone esray if he did not finalize an answer to the halachic question
he was thinking about?
A. In both cases one cannot think about the question, in the bathroom or bathhouse because it is forbidden to think Torah in dirty places and by shemone esray because it will ruin his concentration.
Answer: The Shach says in Yoreh Deah 246:28 that the more one tries not to concentrate or to remove the question from him mind while davening then the more distracted he will be from davening. Meaning trying to distract oneself from the question so that you can Daven with more concentration will cause you to have less concentration on your davening and more concentration on distracting yourself so it is counterproductive. But when walking into a dirty place you just have to distract yourself and everything is fine. See Dirshu Mishna Berura 85:2:8:4.
1. Question: What is the difference between a
bathroom and a chicken pen or barn?
The Mishna Berura 84:3 says if you make a difference in the body of the
bathroom to make it not a bathroom then it is permissible to place a mezuzah on
the door and to make blessings inside it, as well as to learn and Daven inside
it. But without a change in the body of the room, then its name is not
uprooted, meaning it is still a bathroom even if not in use any more and
But a barn, the Be’ur Halacha (79:7 “Aval”) says, only needs a cleaning of all
waste to be able to learn or pray inside it. The Levushei Mordechai says this
is also true for a chicken pen.
C. The Torah requires “your camp to be holy” to do Holy matters like making blessings, learning and praying. The question is what’s the difference?
Answer: Since the chicken pen or barn is not set aside specifically for excrement rather it is to guard the chickens and animals, it is just that they also take care of their needs in that place then all you need is to clean it out but as long as the room is considered a bathroom even if it’s not in use it is still not “holy” and a disgrace to do Holy matters in that area. See Dirshu Mishna Berura 83:1 footnote 4. [/exapnd]