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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Role of mikveh lady

28 May, 2006


I read on your site: "The only criteria for a balanit (mikveh attendant) are that she must be Jewish and older than 12 years, and her job is to be sure all of your hair has gone underwater during immersion."

Shouldn't she also check that the woman has done everything necessary before immersing, check her hands, feet, and certainly back, make sure she isn't touching a railing, etc. while immersing, and know when a she'elah must be asked of a rav?


You are correct that all of the items you list are ways in which a mikveh attendant can assist women who immerse.  Many women welcome such assistance and many mikveh attendants do a great service by providing it.  However, these functions are not a halachic requirement of the mikveh attendant. 

On a halachic level, the immersing woman is required and trusted to immerse only after thorough preparation, to immerse in the proper position, and to contact a rav when necessary.  Thus, it is her decision to what extent she wishes to be assisted by the mikveh attendant.  Most women are only too glad to have the help, but in some cases, unwanted assistance can discourage a woman from immersing. 

A mikveh attendant should be in close contact with the mikveh's supervising rav in defining her role.  We believe it is appropriate, whenever possible, for her to ask each woman if she may run through a checklist, check her feet, etc., before doing so.

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

Accessibility Toolbar