Shabbat tevilah with young children
7 February, 2005
IY"H I am scheduled to go the mikveh this Friday night. I have read the information about this matter posted on your site and it was most helpful. I still have one problem though. I have two small children (aged 2 1/2 and 1) who usually stay at home with me on Friday night whilst my husband goes to shul. Obviously that isn't an option if I have to go to the mikveh. The problem with my husband taking them to shul is that he doesn't carry on shabbat (regardless of the eruv- according to his Rabbi's psak) and he won't be able to push the pushchair home from shul. Do you think it might be reasonable to assume I may be able to meet them at shul after my tevilla (The mikveh is about 10-15 mins. walk away)? Do you have another suggestion? Another related question, R. Mordechai Eliyahu's book "The Road to Purity" states that is possible to immerse "bein hakochavim" on Friday night. I am Sefardi – is this acceptable practice and will I need to ask the mikveh lady?
Many thanks and yeshar koach on the avodat kodesh you do!
According to Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, a woman could immerse bein hashmashot on Friday night. This is the time between sunset and tzet hakochavim (nightfall, when the stars come out). As a Sefardi woman, you could certainly follow this psak, but check the mikveh hours, as Friday night hours are usually short.
You could meet your husband at shul even before tzet hakochavim, as long as you arrive at home only afterwards. If you are at the mikveh early and are the first one to immerse, there should still be plenty of time before shul is over, and you probably won't keep your husband waiting very long. If it is a real problem to take the kids to shul, you could leave them with a neighbor or friend as well. It is halachically preferable for tevilah to be private, but under special circumstances you could tell someone, if it will help you fulfill this important mitzvah.
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