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

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International Date Line

6 August, 2003


Dear Yoetzet,
I have a question about counting 7 white days when crossing the International Date Line. If I make a Hefsek Taharah on Thursday afternoon in Australia, and that Sunday I leave on an airplane at 11:00am and, after travelling for 17 hours, arrive in California that same Sunday at 9:00am, does my day of travelling count as one of my white days and therefore I could go to the Mikvah Wednesday night in California? I am in my first year of marriage (shanah rishonah) and am trying to have children, B'ezrat Hashem, B'shaah Tovah.
Thank you.


In order to answer your question, we made sure to check with a Rav who has flown back and forth to Australia. You are correct, on the way to California you can go to the mikveh Wednesday night. You will in fact have counted seven days, as you will have experienced seven sunsets. (A day is defined as the period from one sunset to the next. When travelling between time zones, this may be longer or shorter than the standard 24 hours.) On the way back from California to Australia, if you did a hefsek taharah on Monday (before sunset), you would go to the mikveh on Tuesday night as you would need that "extra day" to have seven sunsets.

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