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

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Inspection before mikveh

30 June, 2013

Question:

My question is about chafifah. I understand the cleaning process, but I am not sure about the the inspection process (iyun). What areas of the body need to be checked by touch? If the hair was already combed, or if the ears were cleaned, is one required to check them manually? How are the external genital and anal areas inspected? Is it possible for you to provide a checklist for iyun?


Answer:

Any area of the body that is readily visible may be inspected visually.  This is typically done with a mirror just prior to immersion.  Parts of the body not readily visible should be inspected via touch.  Washing these body parts thoroughly, including the vulva and anus, making use of the hands in an effort to identify and remove any chatzitzah, counts as inspection.  We are not aware of any additional inspection requirement beyond what we have written, even for the ears and hair (though the hair needs to be combed).

Therefore, a typical pre-immersion checklist already effectively covers inspection.


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