I want to go to mikveh to make up for being less careful when I was younger. Can I go in the daytime?
7 September, 2023
I’m 62 and did taharat hamishpacha in the past. I wasn’t so careful though, and recently I heard you can make up for it by going to mikvah. Since it’s not due to counting days, can I go to the mikvah during the day?
If you immersed properly after the last time you experienced bleeding that made you niddah, you are tehorah. In that case, you don’t need to go to mikveh — but, If you are currently married, you may choose to immerse for spiritual reasons. Such an immersion would need to be at night. You should clean yourself before immersing but do not have to do the usual preparations and removal of all chatzitzot. You would not recite a bracha on the immersion.
Another option if you wish to immerse for spiritual reasons would be to go to the mikveh during the daytime on erev Yom Kippur. This is permissible whether or not you are currently married. Immersion for teshuvah before Yom Kippur is a widespread custom. You can check with your local mikveh as to whether and when they will be open that day for women to immerse.
If you didn’t immerse properly after the last time you experienced bleeding that made you niddah, you still remain in niddah. In that case, if you are currently married, you need to complete the usual taharah process and immerse. This includes:
- Observing the “minimum wait” of physical separation from your husband, expecially abstaining from relations. For Ashkenazim and many Sefaradim, this is five days. See here for more details.
- Performing a hefsek taharah examination (see here for details). If you observe Ashkenazi custom, this would be on the 5th day of abstention.
- Counting seven clean days with a bedikah on day 1, day 7, and one of the intermediate clean days (see here for details).
- Immersion in the mikveh, at night.
Be careful and gentle with the bedikot and hefsek taharah. If necessary, you can dampen the bedikah cloth slightly with water. If this is not sufficient, you can apply a small amount of water-based vaginal lubricant to the vaginal area, waiting about 15 minutes between applying the lubricant and performing the bedikah. If you don’t have “official” bedikah cloths available, you can use any clean, soft white cloth (such as well-washed old cotton underwear).
Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.
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