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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais

Bath previous night

5 June, 2006


I have a question about preparations for Tevillah. After a season of regular Motzoei Shabos tevillahs, I realized that what I enjoyed most about the process was being able to prepare the day before and be relaxed on the day of tevillah. (I am usually very wound up because of logistical and family/work related commitments).

Is it acceptable to prepare the evening before and just shower at the Mikvah before tevillah? In my circumstances, a long leisurely bath at 11 pm makes more sense to me and my kids than a strangely timed bath in the middle of the afternoon.


There are two goals involved in mikveh preparation – one is to assure that you are clean, and the other is to meet the halachic requirements of chafifah and iyun. The latter needs to be performed either on the night of immersion or during the previous day (unless prevented by an intervening Shabbat or holiday). There is disagreement among the halachic sources as to which is preferable. Therefore, the custom is to attempt to satisfy both positions by doing at least a little of each. However, if either daytime or night time is precluded by outside factors (e.g., no access to water, small children underfoot), preparing during one time only is permitted as long as one does a careful and thorough job.

Taking a bath the night before mikveh immersion is too far removed from mivkeh preparation for it to fulfill the requirement of chafifah. However, it certainly assures that one is getting clean and can minimize the time needed to remove actual dirt the following day.

Therefore, we suggest as follows. For your own enjoyment, if you like, take your nice long relaxing bath the night before, and wash and comb your hair well. If you can do some minor preparation, such as cutting your nails, the following morning (this generally does not raise as many problems or questions as sitting in a bathtub), then you have also done some part of chafifah during the day hours. Arrive at the mikveh early enough that you can do the actual chafifah there. Sitting in the bath (or even standing under the shower) for a few minutes while making sure that the warm water has reach all the cracks and crevices and there is no dirt remaining, washing your hair with warm water, and combing it carefully fufills your obligation for chafifah. If you have any scabs, then you should soak them in water long enough for them to soften. A careful inspection of your body (most mikvaot have a mirror and checklist to help you along with this) completes your obligation of iyun.

Please do not hesitate to get back to us if the above suggestion does not meet your needs.

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