28 March, 2005
Hi, I have a question. Tomorrow night is my first mikvah night after my wedding. I'm a bit unsure about something. I know I can begin my preparation in the morning before I go to work. Like cutting my nails, etc. right?
Before I use the mikvah I have to take the long bath. 35 minutes long? What time does that have to be started by? or done by?
And at what time can I officially dip in the mikvah? I'm just unsure of the timing. I cannot bathe at home, and have to bathe in the mikvah, and I'm trying to work out the details. Thank you.
Mazal Tov on your wonderful news!
1) Ideally, some preparation should be done during the day and some right before going to the mikveh (preferably even at the mikveh building) . There is no requirement to prepare at a specific time of day, as long as when you actually go to the mikveh you are free of chatzitzot. If your schedule demands that you do some things in the morning that is fine. The most important thing is that you go into the mikveh clean, and to look over your body (iyun) before immersion.
2) The bath is meant to help remove scabs or at least soften them. Thirty minutes is often recommended, but a shorter bath is also fine, as long as it serves this purpose. The bath should be before you immerse in the mikveh; there is no specific time by which it must begin or end.
3) You could officially immerse in the mikveh after tzet hacochavim (when the stars come out, between 20 minutes and an hour after sunset, depending on geography and local custom). You need to find out what time that is where you live (it is generally around havdalah time). If you are in doubt, the mikveh lady knows when to allow women to immerse.
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