Entering the Restroom at the Airport with Seforim and Food
When at the airport, what would be the right thing to do with Seforim and food if going to the restroom?
(In the past I have always found someone to watch my things, but that might not work out. Some people have told me it’s okay if it’s double wrapped.)
Regarding the Sefer –
With regards to the Seforim, when there is no other practical option, they may be brought into the airport restrooms if they are covered, such as in a closed piece of hand luggage.
[This leniency applies only to a bathroom in a public area, in a situation where the Sefer will not be safe if left outside. However, in a private home or in situations where the Sefer can be secured outside without bringing it into the bathroom, one may not bring it in even if covered. Even so, in such a situation, many Poskim are lenient if the book is placed in a double covering, with the outer covering being of a general nature and not designated specifically for use with the Seforim. (The book’s own cover does not serve as a cover in this regard, because it is attached to, and therefore part of the book.) Practically, this can be achieved by having the Sefer in a bag, and the bag in the suitcase.]
ראה שו”ע סי’ מ”ג ונו”כ ושוע”ר שם סעיף ו’, וראה שוע”ר סי’ שט”ו, ודין כיסוי בתוך כיסוי מבואר בסי’ מ’ וסי’ ר”מ ע”ש.
Regarding the food –
There is no prohibition in the Gemoro or Shulchan Oruch against bringing food into a bathroom. Nevertheless, it is customary to avoid bringing food into a bathroom, either because a spirit of impurity resides on food that was brought into a bathroom, or due to hygiene. There is leniency proposed (see Minchas Yitzchak 3:63) when the food is covered on all sides, such as in a bag, and this can be certainly relied upon in a situation of need such as when one is in an airport and there is no other choice, especially given that most modern facilities are relatively clean and hygienic.
במאכלים לא מצאנו להדיא שאסור להכניס. והוא רק משום נקיות או רו״ר, ול״ש כבנדו״ד שעטופים ומכוסים. ובפרט בביהכ״ס שבזמננו. וראה שו״ת מנח״י ח״ג סס״ג. יבי״א ח״ג ס״א (וש״נ). הנסמן בפסקי תשובות סקע״א סק״ט. וכשהביהכ״ס משמש גם לצרכים אחרים כאמבטיא וכו׳ עדיף טפי. וראה במקורות ועיונים להלכה היומית אות שכג ושסו – בכללות הענין.