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

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Shower after mikveh

17 August, 2009

Question:

Dear Yoetzet, I got married 5 months ago. After I dunk in the mikveh, I've been taking a shower in the mikveh preparation room and using my nice shampoos and things. Recently, I heard that some people don't shower after the mikveh. Am I doing something wrong? I really like to shower before I get home…

I look forward to your response. Thank you.


Answer:

There is a rabbinic decree not to wash the entire body at once after using the mikveh. This decree was made at a time when mikvaot were not as clean as they are today. It was intended to prevent the erroneous assumption that the cleansing after immersion is actually what makes one tehorah – an error that could lead people to skip mikveh altogether.  (The source is the Rema's gloss to Yoreh Deah 201:75.  Since the Rema is an ashkenazi authority, many sefardi rabbis do permit women to shower at the mikveh.) 

Even with clean mikvaot, the decree remains. Although some extend this decree to not showering until after marital relations (or until after mikveh night, if relations are delayed), others hold that this only refers to bathing at the mikveh, but that one may bathe or shower after returning home. 

Assuming you follow ashkenazi practice, you should not shower before reaching home.  Of course, you can use your nice shampoos, etc., at home.

If women may be waiting to use the preparation room when you are done, or if the mikveh attendant is waiting specifically for you to come out, it is appropriate to finish up fairly quickly in any case.


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