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

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Corona: Ocean immersion

11 May, 2020

Question:

Due to the current situation, I have high anxiety about using a mikvah and would rather use the beach. What are the halachot to use the beach?


Answer:

We appreciate your concerns about mikveh safety during the pandemic. Learning more about mikveh protocol at this time may address some of your anxiety. Please take a look at our page on Mikveh and Coronavirus, including the video at the bottom of the page.

Beaches present their own dangers, even if dipping there is legal in your location, so we still recommend immersion in a mikveh.

If a woman does use the ocean as a mikveh, she must first make sure that she is in a safe place, as safety is an important halachic consideration. The place that she selects for immersion also needs to be sufficiently well-lit for the person watching to see that all the woman’s hair went under the water. In addition, the ocean floor may not be made of a substance such as thick mud that will adhere to the feet.

The time and place should allow for privacy, since a less private setting might lead to a rushed and imperfect immersion. It is permissible to immerse in a loose-fitting robe.

As with any tevilah, all preparations should be done in an unhurried manner, in a lit room where the woman can check herself properly, with a mirror to see her back.

Any Jewish woman over the age of twelve can serve as an attendant to ensure that all hair goes underwater.

If imperative for safety, then immersion on the eighth day during the daytime is permissible.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.


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