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

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My husband gets asthma attacks from chlorine. Can I shower at the mikveh?

26 February, 2024

Question:

I was wondering if there are circumstances when it would be ok/appropriate to shower at the mikvah after dipping. While I know one typically should not shower right after dipping, I find myself needing to shower immediately when I get home as the chlorine from the mikvah (and in general any pool) gives me husband an asthma attack. If I were able to shower at the mikvah it would make the evening much less stressful. It has been at least 5 years of me going to the mikvah but I thought I could ask. Thank you for your time and thoughts.


Answer:

Thank you for reaching out to us. We are glad that you thought to ask about this.

Rema (Yoreh Deah 201:75) rules that a woman should not bathe right after immersion in the mikveh. This is based on a concern about giving the mistaken impression that an ordinary bath makes a woman tehorah, and not specifically immersion in a mikveh. Ashkenazi halachic rulings typically follow this approach, which applies to either a bath or a shower.

Many Sefardi halachic authorities permit showering at the mikveh following immersion. Additionally, some Ashkenazi authorities permit showering at the mikveh when necessary. For example, the Tzitz Eliezer (11:64) permits this and recommends that a woman in such a situation first rinse off her body and then her head, which makes clear that the shower is not an act of purification.

In your case, where not showering at the mikveh poses a special stress or health risk on mikveh night, it would be permissible to shower at the mikveh, preferably following Tzitz Eliezer’s advice to wash head and body separately.

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


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