Hopefully, you can publish my comment and response to a reader question posted in letters to the editor in the last edition, in relation to Halacha regarding the Jewish Link being read in the bathroom (“Halacha Regarding The Jewish Link,” December 15, 2022).
An easy and logical response to the question. The Jewish Link is generally written as a hybrid newspaper with both news related articles and rabbinic commentaries on relevant Torah ideas. The newspaper really does not enjoy being taken into the toilet.
While in the bathroom, one should focus on doing their business as quickly as possible. Prolonging one’s business activities while on the toilet, after getting engrossed in an interesting article, is an unnecessary situation, frowned upon by medical practitioners.
Do your business, get out of the toilet, and then enjoy the diverse articles of The Jewish Link. The Jewish Link cannot be sanitized using hand sanitizer upon exiting the toilet. It is jealous that you can use hand sanitizer!
The Jewish Link is not made to be given a flu shot and does not take immune boosters to prevent bacterial infections. The newspaper enjoys being germ free. The newspaper cannot exit the bathroom on its own. It also does not like to reside there.
One who arises from their business, grabs The Jewish Link, and brings it into a family room or dining room for others to enjoy, spreads bacteria to unsuspected family members. OMG!
If one must bring this newspaper into the toilet to enjoy their time there, and arrives at an article presenting a Torah idea, one must skip over that article and proceed to the real estate section, which is secular or read about the latest adventures at the Naaleh High School for Girls.
So there you go. Bathrooms are for conducting one’s personal business.
Best to leave The Jewish Link outside the bathroom. Complete your business as quickly as possible, wash your hands, exit the bathroom and then retrieve your bacteria-free Jewish Link and enjoy everything it presents. Your newspaper will thank you for that.
Amen!Professor Joel Greenman