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Birchos Hashachar - morning brachos (part IV)
MBY 7:1-4 This lesson is entitled: “Everything you ever wanted to know about making the bracha ‘asher yatzar’ after using the bathroom, but were afraid to ask!”

Q: How many times a day does one make this bracha?
A: However many times he uses the bathroom (i.e. either #1 or #2 – colloquially-speaking – and even for just a drop)!

Q: If someone is not feeling well, and he must run to the bathroom many times in close succession, does that constitute different times, or just one time?
A: If his condition is mild, generally each time is considered separate. If it is more severe, whereby he does not really feel relief between bathroom visits, then he should wait until he feels that he is finished for awhile.

Q: Is one obligated to wash one’s hands halachically after using the bathroom?
A: (Let’s see – how can I say this:) Halachically, he is obligated to wash his hands, but he does not have to wash them halachically (i.e. with a cup), unless he is about to daven. (Ed: In siman 4, we learned that many have the custom to use a cup all the time.)

Q: In addition to the ‘asher yatzar’ bracha, must one also say ‘al netilas yadayim’?
A: Only once a day – before davening shacharis. (See more on hand-washing in siman 4)

Q: If one is unable to obtain water with which to wash his hands, can/must he still say the ‘asher yatzar’ bracha? A: Yes, if he first rubs his hands on an abrasive surface (e.g. wood) to remove any dirt; then he can and should make ‘asher yatzar’.

Q: If one forgot to make ‘asher yatzar’ until considerable time has elapsed after using the bathroom, is there a time-limit after which he can no longer make it?
A: If, by the time that he remembers, he feels the urge to use the bathroom again, then he should not make the bracha until he has used the bathroom a second time. Otherwise, he can make the bracha whenever he remembers. (Note: In general, one should make the bracha as soon as he can. In the halachos of davening – coming up next, iy”H – we will learn what to do about making the bracha when using the bathroom in the middle of a section of davening.)

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