On the face of it, the Asher Yatzar prayer in Judaism is pretty strange—it is a prayer about being able to poop!:
“Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the Universe, Who formed man with wisdom and created many openings and cavities within him. It is obvious and known before Your throne of glory that if any one of them were closed or if one of any one them were opened, it would be impossible to exist for even an hour [i.e., a short while]. Blessed are You, Hashem, Who heals all flesh and does wondrous things.”
Why would we mention such a disgusting, foul-smelling act in the context of pure, holy prayer?
In fact, this prayer represents the core of Judaism: uplifting the mundane, taking the physical and infusing it with spirituality. What is more mundane—what reminds us of our physicality—more than pooping?
It is said that the Pharoah of Egypt would go to the bathroom very early in the morning so that people would not see him, since he wanted to maintain a g-d-like image.
Going to the bathroom is an even more humbling experience after one has had complications. I know this personally as I have experienced said ‘blockages of my hollows’ more severely this year than in previous years.
As I reference in my essay “Breastfeeding is a Sport” in my new ebook, She Pooped, I’m Pooped!: Motherhood Year One, breastfeeding requires a lot of additional fluid to maintain one’s health. And there are several other conditions, such as chronic bowel disease/discomfort which make people aware of how grateful they are for this seemingly simple biological function.
G-d wants to have an intimate relationship with us, and that includes his involvement in our innermost biological functions—however repugnant they may seem!
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