Immersion for Non-Niddah Purposes


Immersion for Non-Niddah Purposes

A married Jewish woman generally immerses in order to exit the niddah status. However, she is permitted to immerse in the mikveh at other times for spiritual reasons. For example, some women immerse for teshuvah purposes on erev Yom Kippur and/or on erev Rosh Hashanah, or as a "segulah" before giving birth or when dealing with infertility. When immersing for spiritual reasons only, a woman does not need to count seven clean days or complete the usual preparations (chafifah), although it is appropriate to shower beforehand.

A woman immersing for spiritual purposes does not recite a bracha over immersion. Unmarried women (single, divorced, or widowed) are generally not permitted to immerse in the mikveh at all, even for spiritual purposes. In some communities, single women may immerse on erev Yom Kippur; a local halachic authority should be consulted.

A woman who immerses as part of the conversion process does not count seven clean days. However, she does a complete preparation (chafifah) for the mikveh in the same way as a woman exiting niddah, and she does recite a bracha over immersion.

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