Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Single woman: immersion for teshuvah

19 April, 2005

Question:

I am unmarried and haven't been to a mikveh. However, for other personal spiritual reasons, I would like to immerse. The reasons have nothing to do with relations, rather, to set right something I feel was wrong from many years ago. May I go to the mikveh at any time or should I follow the laws of Nidah and count the 7 white days?


Answer:

A single woman is discouraged from immersing.  However, should you wish to immerse for purposes of spiritual purification and repentance, there is room to do so; most women's mikvaot only accommodate this on Erev Rosh HaShanah and/or Erev Yom Kippur, if at all.

Since the immersion is not for purposes of family purity, you need not and should not follow the laws of niddah or count seven clean days beforehand.

Other, traditional means to perform teshuvah are: to pray, to give tzedakah, to perform chesed, and even to fast. You may wish to contact a local rabbi for guidance.


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