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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
Menu

Preparing for mikveh after Tisha B’Av

23 July, 2004

Question:

Dear Yoetzet,
I am scheduled to go to the mikvah Tuesday night motzie Tisha B'Av. Do I prepare on Monday afternoon erev Tisha B'Av? Is there anything I should change about the manner in which I prepare?
Thank you.


Answer:

In general, when one cannot prepare during the day on a particular occasion (e.g., Shabbat, Yom Tov), there is debate among authorities if it is better to prepare the day before or the evening of immersion. There is no clear cut answer.  The issue is when you will be able to do the best unhurried job. You need to decide if this is before the fast (and then you take a quick shower and comb through your hair at the mikveh afterwards) or after the fast (remembering that you also need time to eat – remember to check if there is a change in mikveh hours that night).

It is also possible to take care of some things such as cutting nails on Monday to reduce preparation time after the fast. 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.

Often, the mikveh will remain open later the night after Tisha B'Av to allow one to eat before going to the mikveh. Just be sure to brush your teeth well after eating.  If there is not time to eat at home, then pack something to take with you.

Preparation for the mikveh is not viewed as bathing for pleasure and therefore your usual preparation routine is permitted during the nine days (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.  As the rules of the nine days, including the prohibition of regular bathing, apply both Monday afternoon and Tuesday night, there is no advantage in delaying preparation to after the fast for this reason.


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.