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

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Working night shift

13 December, 2008

Question:

I need to go to the Mikveh on Thursday evening. Unfortunately, I will be leaving for work before the sun goes down and won't be finished with work until 2 or 3 in the morning. I live in a small community, where you have to call a friend to come to the mikveh with you and be your witness. What should I do?

Could I go during the day on Thursday? I would briefly see my husband (maybe) if he manages to get home before I leave for work, but we would literally be passing one another as he comes to get the kids and I leave for work. With no time to be alone in any capacity. Or I could go Friday morning without being really noticed, I would just call a friend to come and meet me and we could do it in the morning before I start making shabbat.

I would have more time to properly prepare if I did this during the day on Thursday, though.


Answer:

In this case, the best solution would be to adjust your work schedule.  If there is no way to change it, you would be permitted to immerse on Friday night.  Tevilah during the day is only permitted from the eighth day onward in cases where tevilah at night is ruled out.  Even when it is permitted, it is customary for the woman to return home only after nightfall.  Thus, in your case, Friday night tevilah is the most appropriate course of action.

Note that tevilah is permitted at any time during the night, until alot hashachar (halachic dawn). If you can find another woman who works shifts, or who wakes up very early, you might be able to schedule mikveh for the end of the night.


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