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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
Menu

Preparation for Shabbat immersion

15 August, 2004

Question:

When going to the mikveh on a friday night, I always bathe at home right before Shabbat and then go the mikveh as soon as possible. This week, bathing before Shabbat in my home is an impossibility. I was under the impression that my Mikveh does not allow bathing on Friday night at the Mikveh itself. What are the steps I should take in terms of preparation for Tevila, considering my situation?


Answer:

You must bathe and wash your hair some time during the day on Friday. You need to use warm water at least for washing your hair and the creases and folds of your body. If no bath is available, you can wash yourself thoroughly in the shower. You can bathe any time after sunrise, and can do so anywhere (a friend's house, a local gym, etc.). You could put your hair in a ponytail or a bun to keep it from getting knotted. Other elements of preparation (e.g., brushing teeth) should not present a major logistical problem. You can shave and cut your nails a day or two in advance, as they do not grow back that fast.

Although Ashkenazic practice is to conceal the night of mikveh immersion, it is ok for a few people (preferably women) to find out about it if that is the only way you can properly prepare for mikveh.

At the mikveh, you could run your fingers through your hair to remove any loose hairs before you go in the mikveh (make sure you do not pull out any hairs!).  You wet your body, inspect yourself, and immerse (see Immersion on Shabbat and Yom Tov).

Hairwashing and bathing in warm water are prohibited on Shabbat, so even at home you cannot wait until Shabbat to bathe. If you still do not see how you can prepare, please get back to us with specifics of the problem so we can try to help you further.


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.