Heated mikveh on Shabbat
20 August, 2014
My husband learned about a halachic problem with going to a mikvah with hot water on Friday night. We called many of the local Rabanut mikvaot but they had never heard of this. There is one mikvah that does have lukewarm water (mayim poshrim), but it is private and a half hour walk. How stringent is this halachah? Why is this not standard in the mikvaot of Yerushalayim, and should I make an effort to go to a mikvah with mayim poshrim? Thanks!
As your husband learned, there is a halachic concern about immersing in hot water on Shabbat. The halachic consensus, however, is not to be particular about it. Reasons suggested for this lenient practice are because great rabbis in the past did not actively protest, because the halachic issue might apply specifically to bathhouses and not to mikvaot, or because nowadays there is a greater health concern with immersing in cooler water.
For sources, see Shiurei Shevet HaLevi 197:2:6.
If you wish to show concern for this issue, you could limit your immersion to one or two dunks on a Shabbat mikveh night, even if you usually do more.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.
For further questions or comments:
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.
Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.