Mikveh for spiritual purification
Although I was born jewish, I didnīt know that. I have been in churches and others places of catholic people because all my classmates were of that religion, but now that I am doing tshuva I want to know if I have to go to a mikve because I feel as if I had a lot of tumah inside me because of that...I am 20 and I am single..
Thank you for your question.
If you are sure of your Jewish roots, but were unaware of them until now, all these years you were considered akin to a tinok shenishba (a babe who was taken into captivity, referring to your spiritual world). It is wonderful that you are reclaiming your heritage and it is best to look to the future. Focus on study and beginning to practice the laws and traditions, rather than look back. You are not held entirely responsible for not acting like a Jew if you did not know you were one.
Jewish law today does not encourage a single woman to immerse in a mikveh until just before her wedding. Traditionally, prayer and tzedakah (giving to the poor or doing good deeds) are considered no less purifying to body and soul then immersion in a mikveh.
However, there are places which permit unmarried women to go to the mikvah for purification and teshuvah (repentance) purposes the afternoon before Rosh Hashana and/or Yom Kippur. At that time, you could check your local facilities.
We wish you much hatzlachah (success) in discovering the beauty of Jewish life.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases.
If you have further questions or comments about this email, please click here to Ask the Yoetzet.
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefitted from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.