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

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Shower after mikveh for kallah

20 May, 2004

Question:

If a kallah goes to the mikveh 4 days before her wedding, could she still shower before her wedding? I was taught that normally one should not take a shower after the mikveh until having marital relations. Does the same apply to a kallah before her wedding?


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.) 

Even with clean mikvaot, the decree remains. Some people extend this to not showering until after marital relations. Others hold that this only refers to bathing at the mikveh, but that one may bathe or shower after returning home. Furthermore, it is permissible to wash one part of the body at a time.

The decree applies only to mikveh night. If relations are delayed for any reason, there is no reason for the woman not to shower.


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