Torah Riddles Test #75

1.  Question: Why is there a difference whether you found excrement on your clothes or on the bottom of your shoe in terms of saying Holy matters like praying or learning Torah?


A. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 76:2) says that one can place his shoe over a hole which has excrement inside it and recite the Shema as long as there is no smell emanating from there. But if the shoe is touching the excrement it is forbidden to say Shema.

B.  The Mishna Berura (5) differentiates between whether you are wearing the shoe or not. If you are not wearing the shoe and it touches the excrement while covering it you can say Shema but if you are wearing the shoe it is worse because now it is your clothing. However the Shulchan Aruch In si’if 4 indicates that if excrement is hidden on another part of the garment it is permissible to say Shema. The Magen Avraham says this is explicitly mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch siman 78 and He also says the difference between a shoe and other articles of clothing is because a shoe is nullified to the body where as other pieces of clothing aren’t.  Why? 

Answer: The Shulchan Aruch Harav 76:2 answers that the shoe is used by the foot to crush the excrement and the foot is what holding the shoe in place on the excrement therefore it’s as if the foot is touching the excrement. But by other articles of clothing they are not being used to touch the excrement therefore they are considered a covering. This would mean that a glove used on a hand to cover the excrement would be the same as a shoe.