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

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Mikveh after delayed Tisha B’Av

10 August, 2016

Question:

I have a few questions about potentially going to the Mikvah around Tisha Bav this year. It seems that my Mikvah night might be Friday night of tisha bav this year, however if it does take longer for me to get a clean hefsek I would have to go motzei tisha bav. My questions are as follows if I do need to go motzei tisha beav.

When do I do my chafifa? Additionally if I do my chafifa erev Shabbos as I suspect, can I break my fast then go to the Mikvah? Or do I do a chafifa after I break my fast and then go to the Mikvah late that night?

If my last bedika would be Shabbos day do I switch to colored undergarments? Do I need to do any additional bedikos after the final one on the seventh day?


Answer:

Women often find it difficult to prepare after the fast because they are tired and hungry, it is a late summer night, and twice as many women as usual will be using the mikveh (since there is no immersion on Tishah B'Av itself). Therefore, we recommend performing as much of the chafifah as possible on the day before the fast, at least taking care of some time-intensive things, such as cutting nails, on Friday in order to reduce preparation time after the fast.

Preparation for the mikveh is not viewed as bathing for pleasure and therefore your usual preparation routine is permitted on Friday (although not on Tisha B'Av itself). Concentrate on preparing and don't spend extra time luxuriating in the bath. There is debate among halachic authorities about married women shaving body hair during the three weeks, so it is best to check with your rabbi about this.  Both a longer bath and shaving would be permissible immediately after Tisha B'Av this year, since it is postponed from Shabbat to Sunday.

Eating before immersion is permissible, so long as you are sure to brush your teeth well after eating.  Often, the mikveh will remain open later the night after Tisha B'Av to allow one to eat before going to the mikveh. If there is not time to eat at home, then pack something to take with you. We recommend checking in advance to see if there is a change in mikveh hours Sunday night.

Once a woman has completed her clean days, she may switch to colored undergarments and need not perform any further bedikot.

Please write back with any further questions.


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