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orion Bodily Functions and Sectarians

Date: Sun, 05 Oct 1997 11:46:55 -0400
From: David Goldman <davic@pop.erols.com>
Subject: Bodily Functions and Sectarians

Regarding the issue of bodily functions within "the camp". I would be
interested in knowing, if anyone does, what classic Jewish literature may
have to say about this subject. That is, were the priests in the Temple
forbidden to take care of various bodily functions within the confines of
the Temple? If so, what kind of arrangements were made for this?
I believe there were boundaries for kohanim as far as conjugal relations
were concerned, but at least in Jerusalem itself.

Somehow I would assume that the throngs of Jews coming into the Temple area
during the festivals would have access to toilet facilities. 

I therefore wonder what the logistics of living must have been for the
sectarians living in Jerusalem. Are they any hints in the scrolls? Were
there family hostels outside "the camp" for conjugal relations? While they
performed their religious activities within the confines of the "camp"
whether on Shabbat or otherwise, is their any indication that their
residences were at the edge of "the camp" to allow them quick access to the
toilet? In addition the holiness of "the camp" would not be limited to
Shabbat. If there were an issue of them refraining from using the bathroom
only on Shabbat, that would be independent of their prohibition from
undertaking bodily functions in "the camp" in general.

---David Goldman