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

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Corona Q-A


If you’d like to share the specifics of your two kallot, please do, and we’ll be happy to help.

In the meanwhile, for the duration of the pandemic, kallot need to keep in mind the possibility that their wedding date might change. That will help provide flexibility in facing any changes.

When a wedding date needs to be moved, the couple should still try for a time at which the kallah will not be niddah. At the same time, sometimes a wedding during niddah (chuppat niddah) is unavoidable. Please reinforce to the couple that, though it can be challenging, a chuppat niddah is still a joyous occasion and usually preferable to a longer delay. (See more about chuppat niddah here.)

If the wedding must be moved up to a time before the kallah had been planning to immerse, she should seek immediate halachic guidance to see if she can move up her immersion as well.

When the date needs to be delayed, she should also seek guidance about whether she should then delay the process of becoming tehorah. There should ideally be no more than four days between immersion and the wedding. If the process is already underway and the rescheduled wedding will now be within the same cycle but more than four days after immersion, she should also consult a halachic authority about the bedikot required from that point on.

The position of our site’s rabbinic supervisor, Rav Kenneth Auman, is as follows: Given the extenuating circumstances, a kallah in these cases should perform at least one proper bedikah every seven days (i.e., making sure that not more than six full days elapse between bedikot). If she has staining and is concerned that performing a bedikah after she has been to mikveh will make her niddah, she should ask a specific halachic question.

A kallah who is using hormones to avoid a chuppat niddah should discuss with her healthcare provider how to adjust her pill schedule if the wedding date changes.

In some communities, it is customary for female friends and relatives to accompany the kallah to the mikveh and celebrate with her there. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, such a celebration would pose a risk to the health of the kallah and those closest to her, as well as to other women at the mikveh. It may be possible to arrange a virtual online gathering after the immersion to help make up, in part, for the special women’s fellowship of a kallah’s first mikveh immersion.

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

Tizki lemitzvot!

The vaccine hasn’t been tested yet on pregnant women, so there is some disagreement about whether pregnant women or women planning to conceive should exercise caution. In America and in Israel, pregnant women are given the vaccine and women trying to conceive are not being advised to delay vaccination or conception. In the UK and Canada, pregnant women are generally not receiving the vaccine at this point, and women planning to conceive have been instructed to use contraception for a couple of months.

If you have concerns, we suggest contacting your healthcare provider. Since the vaccine has the potential to save your life, and potentially the lives of others, it is permitted—and even a mitzva—to get it in your situation. This is the case even if it will entail delaying conception and fulfillment of the mitzva to procreate.

If you do choose to use contraception, we suggest that you look at our site’s section on Family Planning, starting with Choosing a Method, and consult your physician. The usual halachic considerations in choosing a contraceptive method apply here. Please don’t hesitate to follow up with us.

We wish you continued good health!

When a woman has waited, or thinks she may have waited, fifteen seconds between urinating and wiping, discharge on toilet paper may be disregarded. (Deliberately waiting that long can help prevent future questions.)

If the time elapsed was certainly shorter, then your status depends on a number of details, including the shade of what you saw (and under what lighting conditions you saw it), if there was plausible non-uterine source of bleeding, and whether you follow Ashkenazi or Sefardi halachic rulings. Please see our article on toilet paper for more details.

When a woman has non-niddah staining, we recommend abstaining from intercourse for a day or so. This is a precaution to prevent a flow from beginning during relations, and not a strict halachic requirement.

It is fairly common for women to experience breakthrough bleeding when extending active pill use. When breakthrough bleeding begins, it often makes sense to stop the active pills and allow for withdrawal bleeding. We recommend checking in with your midwife or physician for guidance on how to proceed at this stage.

We appreciate your concerns about going to mikveh during the pandemic. At the same time, immersion in a mikveh that follows the guidelines of local health authorities is generally considered safe for women who are not at high risk. By preparing at home, maintaining distance from other women there, and wearing a mask as much as possible, you can increase your Covid-19 safety.

In light of your nervousness, you may also seek to arrange to immerse first on a given evening, before other women arrive. Please see our extensive section on Coronavirus and Taharat Hamishpacha for guidelines and FAQs on immersing in the current circumstances, and please let us know if you have any further questions.


Halacha follows medical consensus on this type of issue. To date, it has not been established that Covid-19 poses a special risk to fetuses or to pregnant women. At the same time, it has not been established that it does not.

For that reason, a couple who wish to conceive at this stage are halachically permitted to do so.

At the same time, your physician’s suggestion is reasonable. Rav Yehuda Henkin, our site’s rabbinic supervisor, permits couples  with concerns about conceiving during the pandemic to use contraception until there is more information about potential risks. This includes couples who have not yet fulfilled the mitzva of having children.

In short, this is a decision that halacha leaves room for couples to make for themselves, under the guidance of their health care providers.

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

We appreciate your reaching out to us, and your readiness to help.

A bodeket taharah typically performs a speculum exam to see if a woman has a vaginal or cervical lesion or other condition such as ectropion to which bleeding may be attriubted. When there is a plausible non-uterine cause of bleeding, it can mean that a woman is not niddah. A bodeket does not usually make a halachic determination herself. Rather, she reports on what she observes (its location, size, and nature) as faithfully as possible to the referring halachic authority.

All that being said, we must caution that at this time visits to a bodeket should be kept to an absolute minimum, for the safety of the women involved and for the safety of women like yourself.

A woman who suspects she has a non-uterine cause of bleeding should be instructed to use a hand mirror to see if she can spot something on her own. Or even to perform a couple of bedikot and see if the blood is consistently confined to a specific spot. As much as possible, she should describe the details of whatever bleeding she has to a halachic authority.

In this climate, only in extreme cases if there is no alternative should visiting a bodeket be considered. Please know that many poskim have no need for a bodeket.

A woman in quarantine or not feeling well definitely should not visit a bodeket. Any woman’s visit is subject to local health regulations and should also be upon consultation with her physician. Her consulting a physician is also important since if there is a medical issue that should be addressed, he or she is the appropriate address. You, too, should check the legal ramifications of your playing this role.

We hope this helps. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Chag kasher vesameach ubari.

We appreciate how difficult it can be to spend an extended amount of time in niddah, especially when facing the uncertainties of the current pandemic.

On the whole, the harchakot remain in place. This is the time, though, to review the harchakot, as by reading our site’s articles, to ensure that you are not being overly stringent.

When there are specific marital difficulties or mental health concerns during this pandemic and immersion has been delayed, a couple can be lenient with most harchakot that do not involve direct physical contact (e.g. passing objects directly and serving food).

Since the specifics of a situation make a difference, please get back to us or consult a local halachic authority with any follow up questions.

May we all merit good health and good news.

We recommend that you call the halachic authority to whom you usually bring such questions to consult. (You could also contact a Yoetzet Halacha through Nishmat’s Golda Koschitzky hotline, or a local Yoetzet Halacha.) Explain that it is difficult to bring in the cloth because of the restrictions, and give as many details about it as possible.

Another possibility is to seek to have it evaluated by a rabbi online through Tahor App (available on iPhone and some models of Android phones), which uses special color calibration technology to ensure that the stain is photographed and transmitted accurately. It is most helpful in more clear cut cases. While some borderline colors will require in-person evaluation, many questions can be accurately assessed through the app.

If you will need to drop the bedikah off for in-person evaluation, please lay it flat to dry and then place it in a clear plastic bag. Wash your hands, and place the bag in an envelope with a note with your phone number and other relevant information. 

In this situation, you might try to perform another bedikah prior to sunset, to serve as a new hefsek taharah should one be necessary.

Be”H, the pandemic will pass and we’ll be able to return to our normal mikveh practices soon!

If you are concerned that performing your full usual set of bedikot may lead to extra halachic questions, you may perform fewer bedikot at this time. 

Even now you must, at absolute minimum, perform a hefsek taharah and one bedikah each on days one and seven. If any of these three examinations are omitted, the seven clean days are not valid, so it’s crucial to remember the bedikah on day seven.

If at all possible, you should also do a bedikah on at least one intermediate day. This helps ensure that you don’t inadvertently go more than five days without a bedikah, which would invalidate the entire count and require you to start over.

In the event that you do nonetheless have a questionable bedikah, we recommend that you call the halachic authority to whom you usually bring such questions to consult. (You could also contact a yoetzet halacha through Nishmat’s Golda Koschitzky hotline, or a local Yoetzet Halacha.) Explain that it is difficult to bring in the cloth because of social distancing, and give as many details about it as possible.

Another possibility is to seek to have it evaluated by a rabbi online through Tahor App (available on iPhone and some models of Android phones), which uses special color calibration technology to ensure that the stain is photographed and transmitted accurately. While some borderline colors will require in-person evaluation, many questions can be accurately assessed through the app.

If you will need to drop the bedikah off for in-person evaluation, lay it flat to dry and then place it in a clear plastic bag. Wash your hands and place the bag in an envelope with a note with your phone number and other relevant information.

Be”H, the pandemic will pass and we’ll be able to return to our normal mikveh practices soon!

If there is good reason to suspect that local authorities are weighing closure of the mikveh, or that you or your husband are at risk of quarantine, then you should attempt to perform an early hefsek taharah on day four, and a thorough bedikah on day five. That way, should closure on short notice remain a concern, you will be able to immerse a night earlier than you ordinarily would, based on the early hefsek taharah (and counting the bedikah the next day as the first bedikah of the clean days). If the concern fades, then you will immerse on your usual schedule.

As you go through the clean days, you should keep two counts in mind: one based on the early hefsek taharah and one based on the regular schedule from day five. If you typically perform a reduced number of bedikot, please consult with us to confirm how best to adjust your practice to this scenario.

Even in difficult times like these, the seven clean days cannot be shortened, as a matter of Torah law. In order to become tehorah, you need to immerse after you have finished counting the seven clean days. An earlier immersion would not be halachically valid. Let’s hope and pray that you are able to immerse on time and that this crisis passes soon.

Mikveh Safety

With Corona rates still high in many communities, we cannot recommend immersion for spiritual purposes, such as for teshuvah on Erev Yom Kippur.

Mikveh for women following niddah is a high priority because it’s a halachic requirement. It can also be done safely by taking a number of precautions. These are less feasible when many women immerse within the same time-frame, as on Erev Yom Kippur.

Since refraining from immersion this year isn’t a personal choice, there is no need for hatarat nedarim (an annulment of vows typically associated with diverging from one’s customary practice). We hope you are able to experience a meaningful Yom Kippur nevertheless.

Gemar chatimah tovah!

There are a number of reasons why immersing in a bathtub or swimming pool does not work as a kosher mikveh that can enable a woman to exit niddah status (at least not without major adjustments).

Here are a few of the reasons:

  • A mikveh must contain forty se’ah of water, 332 liters at absolute minimum (though mikvaot typically follow more stringent views requiring more). A woman needs to be able to completely submerge her entire body at once in the mikveh, with the mikveh retaining the minimum volume even if water splashes out. This is well beyond the capacity of baths and many indoor home jacuzzis.
  • A keli, or vessel, cannot serve as a mikveh. A claw footed bath or above ground pool are definitely considered keilim that cannot work as mikvaot, regardless of the material of which they’re made. When a bath, jacuzzi, or pool is built into the floor of a building, there is debate as to whether it is considered a keli, depending on a number of specific factors concerning its construction.
  • A mikveh cannot have any major leaks below water level. According to some opinions, even very small leaks can disqualify a mikveh, though this may depend on their location and whether they are recognizable.
  • A filtration system needs to be made in a way that does not serve as a receptacle (beit kibul) for water. If water is taken out and returned, the pipes need to be embedded in the pool. Whether there is a beit kibul for water can also be of concern with water jets in a jaccuzi.
  • When municipal tap water systems include tanks, pumps, or even water meters, their water is considered by many authorities mayim she’uvim, drawn water, which cannot serve as the basis for a mikveh.
  • A mikveh must have less than a liter (3 lugin) of mayim she’uvim inside it before it first fills up with 40 se’ah of water. So even an outdoor, in-ground pool would have to be emptied before any possible use as a mikveh, and then filled in a halachically acceptable way with rain water (ie from the sky or a direct pipe from the roof) or possibly with blocks of ice allowed to melt naturally into the mikveh.

An expert in mikvaot would have to evaluate and oversee any of the above.

We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question. It’s challenging to confront the possibility of having made a serious halachic error.

Unfortunately, much of the halachic information circulating on the internet has not been vetted. It is important to seek out local halachic authorities and only to refer to established and reliable internet resources.

As you now realize, immersion in a bathtub does not change a woman’s niddah status. (See more here.) For this reason, you are still in niddah and were in niddah when you had relations. This is considered an unwitting transgression. Prayer and giving tzedaka are two classic acts of teshuva in this type of situation.

You should immerse at your earliest opportunity in a kosher mikveh. Be careful to follow mikveh protocols (see our checklist here) in order to ensure that your immersion is as safe as possible. As an extra precaution, because your husband is high risk, you may wish to arrange to immerse first on a given night.

Since you did complete counting a full seven clean days, however, there is no further obligation to count clean days or to perform bedikot.

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

Thank you for reaching out to us.

Women with symptoms of Coronavirus, especially fever, may not immerse. The precise criteria for determining full recovery vary somewhat according to jurisdiction. Regaining the sense of taste and smell may not be necessary prior to receiving clearance to immerse. Please do not immerse until you have received medical clearance from a local physician.

We wish you and your husband a refuah sheleimah!

We are living through a frightening time. Many once-routine activities now present a risk of infection. It is permissible for a woman to choose to delay immersion given the current situation.

However, if you have made a personal choice not to leave home during this time (i.e., you are not in quarantine, you have not been given specific medical instructions, and you have no symptoms of illness), you should be aware that a properly-maintained mikveh is considered safe, especially when precautions are taken. Let’s look at these, step by step.

Making an appointment
Many mikva’ot are now operating on an appointment system to avoid groups of women congregating at the same time. Call in advance to check. In Israel appointments are now mandatory, and many mikva’ot are working hard to meet the new regulations.

You should do all your preparations at home to minimize any possible risk of infection or transmission. Even if you don’t have a bathtub, it is sufficient to take a thorough shower. Pack a large disposable bag with a towel, and a robe if you will use one. If you did your preparations earlier in the day, shower and comb your hair again right before you leave for the mikveh.

Reception/Waiting Area
When you get to the mikveh, maintain a distance of two meters (six feet) from any other women there, including the mikveh attendant.

Preparation room
Mikva’ot have been instructed to clean and disinfect the rooms between women. In the preparation room, you should just undress — placing your clothes in the bag you brought from home — and inspect yourself in the mirror for possible barriers. Try to avoid touching surfaces or touching your face. Wear your mask except when actually immersing. This is the best way to prevent transmission of the virus and avoid risk of infection.

Inspect yourself before calling the mikveh attendant. You can rely on your own inspection, and do not need the mikveh attendant to touch you. Loose hairs on your back are not a chatzitzah and do not need to be removed, even if that is your usual custom. Try to maintain a distance of about two meters (six feet) from the attendant.

Chlorine kills the virus, so a properly maintained and chlorinated mikveh pool should not present a significant risk of infection. If you wish, you may reduce your customary number of dips. Sephardi women should recite the beracha before immersing. Ashkenazi women should immerse once, recite the beracha, and immerse again. If an Ashkenazi woman wishes to dip only once, she should recite the beracha after immersing.

After Immersion
Return to the preparation room, dry off, get dressed, and go home. Wash your hands well when you get home. You can also shower right after arriving home and do not need to wait until after you have been with your husband.

To summarize:
The decision as to whether to immerse at this time, or to delay immersion and remain in niddah, is in your hands. If you choose to immerse now, your risk of contracting Corona at a properly maintained mikveh is low. If you are immunocompromised or at high risk, please consult your physician.

For an interview with Yoetzet Halacha Dr. Deena Zimmerman on mikveh safety, please see here.

May we all merit good health and good news.

We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.

There are a lot of questions about what it means for the Coronavirus to be “in the air.” Current medical consensus is that the greatest concern is transmission from person to person via droplets, which fall quickly out of the air. For Yoetzet Halacha Dr. Deena Zimmerman’s discussion of Coronavirus transmission, please see here.

Social distancing is the most effective method of preventing droplet spread. For this reason, mikva’ot must adopt careful social distancing practices, even between the immersing woman and the attendant, and attendants should wear masks.

Mikva’ot are taking additional precautions as well. To reduce the possibility of contracting infection from contact with surfaces, preparation rooms are disinfected between women.

As a safeguard against the possibility, however remote, of non-droplet transmission through the air, women prepare at home to minimize time spent at the mikveh, and mikva’ot can increase ventilation by opening doors or windows as much as possible. We also encourage women to wear their masks at the mikveh, except for when they are in the water.

Tracking of women who develop Covid varies from place to place.

There are no absolute guarantees. However, these protective measures are considered significant enough by both halachic and medical authorities to allow for mikva’ot to remain open.

You can use our the information on this page to confirm that your mikveh follows best practices. Please be back in touch with any further questions.

We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.

Given the situation, it is legitimate for you to make a personal decision not to immerse. Even if your husband insists that you go to mikveh, that does not halachically obligate you to do so.

That being said, not immersing means abstinence for an indefinite period of time, which requires both spouses working together to preserve shalom bayit.

It would be best if the two of you could come to a joint decision about mikveh, looking together at the materials we’ve made available on our site, inquiring about the precautions your local mikveh is taking, and talking out both of your concerns.

You may want to talk personally with a Yoetzet Halacha to discuss some of the halachic and practical aspects of working this out. As always, Yoatzot Halacha are available through our phone hotline or in the community. If you and your husband need more assistance in building healthy communication around this decision, you may also find it helpful to consult with a counseling professional.

May we all merit good health and good news.

We suggest that you call your mikveh attendant directly.

Begin by expressing your appreciation for her hard work at a tough time.

Then explain that you have a few questions. The key questions:

  • Is the water being treated regularly with chlorine or bromine?
  • Is the water being changed (or, if the mikveh uses a filter, is the filter cleaned) every day?
  • Are they disinfecting the preparation rooms and mikveh rail between women?
  • Is immersion by appointment, with care being taken to keep 2 meters distance between women (including from the attendant)?

If she answers in the negative or is unavailable to answer your questions, explain calmly that you are trying to help her keep women safe and ask her whom you can speak with to get answers or move things forward, and how else you can help. If you do not succeed in making an impact or reaching someone who can, see if you can get other women in your community involved to help. In Israel, you can contact the Religious Affairs Ministry with complaints.

If the mikveh is not maintaining basic standards of hygiene to prevent transmission of Coronavirus, you may need to delay immersion. If it is relevant, you could start looking into mikva’ot in neighboring communities.

We appreciate your concerns.

Mikva’ot can, in fact, be cleaned on Friday night. The mikveh can be chlorinated as usual. Surfaces can be wiped down with with bleach or alcohol wipes, or with bleach or alcohol solution and disposable rags.

If you have questions about your mikveh’s practice, please call ahead to clarify.

Shabbat Shalom!

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 read through this 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

We appreciate your concerns.

Halacha certainly takes public health into account and obliges us to follow the recommendations of local health authorities. For that reason, if they were to determine that mikva’ot are unsafe, communities would be obliged to close them and women would be instructed not to immerse. As long as they remain open in line with public health guidelines, halacha permits immersion.

If there is a specific pikuach nefesh situation for a given couple, then the women may be instructed not to immerse. So, too, women who are not comfortable immersing at this time may choose to delay immersion indefinitely. Unfortunately, this can place a strain on a relationship because harchakot remain in place and relations remain prohibited until immersion.

As for the suggestions of immersing in a pool or tub, there are specific halachic requirements for the construction and set up of a mikveh, which even an outdoor swimming pool does not ordinarily meet. For example, water that travels through pipes has the status of “mayim she’uvim” drawn waters, which are not valid for mikveh use.

Halachically, there is no substitute for immersion. We simply don’t have another option to offer.

We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question and the weight of your concerns.

You must discuss the possibility of mikveh immersion with your physician. Ask whether it would be safe for you, on condition that you can arrange to be the first to immerse after the water has been changed and treated.

If your physician approves immersion, call ahead to arrange a time when you can be first to immerse, and will not need to spend time in the waiting room. You should follow the current guidelines, performing all your preparations at home. At the mikveh, you should just check yourself in the mirror and immerse.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you leave home and when you get back. Avoid touching your face while you are at the mikveh, and maintain a distance of two meters from the mikveh attendant and anyone else on the premises. 

We wish you the best of health.

For halachic and water safety reasons, it is preferable for an attendant to observe your immersion. An option to minimize contact would be as follows; it would work best if you can discuss it in advance with the attendant.

You can ask the attendant to allow you to enter the mikveh room on your own. Either bring your bag with you and put the towel down on it, or place the towel on a freshly disinfected surface. Call to the attendant when your body is in the water, and ask her to observe the immersion itself from the doorway. She can then leave until you are out of the room.

May we all merit good health and good news!

Immersing at the mikveh during the ninth month of pregnancy is a segulah, a practice thought by some to be beneficial. It is not a halachic requirement.

While, physician permitting, immersing in a mikveh adhering to health guidelines should be safe, women who are not halachically required to immerse should not to do so at this time, in order to prevent unnecessary crowding at the mikveh.

Separating challah during the ninth month of pregnancy is an alternate segulah for an easy birth, and, as always, tefillah is the ultimate segulah. You can include in your prayers wishes for the refu’ah sheleimah of those afflicted by the virus, too.

Mikva’ot that adhere scrupulously to current public health guidelines should be safe for use. If a woman who used the mikveh is later confirmed to have COVID-19, then the local health authorities will give specific guidance to the mikveh in advance of reopening the premises. Women who are immunocompromised or at high risk should consult their physicians first.

As with any public space, there is some risk of being quarantined if it turns out that a person later diagnosed with Corona was there at the same time as you. This applies to locations such as stores, buses, and synagogues, as well as to the mikveh.

The mikveh pool itself is chlorinated, and the railings and preparation rooms are cleaned and disinfected between women. Therefore, a properly maintained mikveh does not present a unique risk of infection compared to other public spaces.

We recommend you work within your community to set up an appointment system if you don’t have one yet. Depending on the specific situation, this could help determine which women were at the mikveh at the same time and minimize the number of women who need to enter quarantine due to possible passage within two meters of the woman diagnosed, or to possibly touching a non-disinfected surface that she touched, too.

May we all merit good health and good news.

The chlorine in the mikveh pool provides effective protection against the virus, and a shower after immersion is unlikely to have any effect on Coronavirus infection. Since showering at the mikveh would not create any health benefit, the halacha against it remains in full force. You can shower as soon as you get home.

Mikveh Preparation

Yes, a thorough shower is sufficient preparation for the mikveh. (You can rely on this whenever a bath is unavailable, not just during the current situation.)

Yes. In general, you can prepare for mikveh at any time during the day.

When there is a gap between preparation and going to mikveh, you need to take a quick shower and comb your hair again just before you leave for the mikveh.

At the mikveh, you should just check yourself in the mirror for possible chatzitzot and immerse.

The bandaid is considered a chatzitzah, a barrier to immersion. Since it is small, and it is something that was hard to notice, it was a rabbinic-level barrier.

Standard practice in this type of case is to immerse again, and this is what we recommend in general.

If, however, there is currently high risk of infection from the Coronavirus pandemic in your area, please get back to us or a local halachic authority to discuss best practice.

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

Hair on the head, body, or face, as long as it is clean and untangled, is not considered a chatzitzah. This is true even if it is your usual custom to remove it.

In this situation, you should do your best to make your brows look reasonably presentable from your perspective, and then immerse.

In some localities, manicurists and cosmeticians are available. We recommend looking into current regulations. However, you do not need to go unless you are completely comfortable with the safety precautions.

In this case, if you would conceivably be comfortable being seen in public with your nails in this condition, given the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak, you need not remove the gel.  

If not, please be in touch with a cosmetologist, giving her a clear picture of what your nails look like now, to find out about the best methods to remove the polish or make it look presentable. Then, please get back to us or a local halachic authority.

In some localities, manicurists and cosmeticians are available. We recommend looking into current regulations. However, you do not need to go unless you are completely comfortable with the safety precautions.

Ideally, especially if this is your typical practice, you would remove the polish prior to immersion. In this case, though, where you can’t do that well on your own and the manicure is in good shape, you should fill in and repair your manicure as well as possible, clean your nails very carefully, and immerse. If possible, you should check in with your mikveh attendant in advance about this to ensure that mikveh policies will allow for immersion in line with this ruling.

In some localities, manicurists and cosmeticians are available. We recommend looking into current regulations. However, you do not need to go unless you are completely comfortable with the safety precautions.

Mikveh Logistics

We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.

As long as there is no access to mikva’ot or natural bodies of water, there is no way to immerse. (Pools are generally not considered fit for halachic immersion.) You should finish counting your clean days as scheduled. After they are finished, on Sunday night, you perform no more bedikot and switch to colored undergarments. You will need to wait to immerse as soon as there is a place where you can do so. Until then, you are still considered niddah and all the laws of conduct during niddah still apply.

You may wish to contact your local mikveh attendant to determine if there is any sense of when the mikveh will reopen or if there is any mikveh open within a reasonable distance.

Waiting to immerse can be a challenge, especially with an open-ended time period. We wish you and your husband the resilience and faith to negotiate this challenge with love and shalom bayit.

There is no prohibition involved in others realizing someone is immersing, and it is permissible to tell select people as necessary in order to facilitate immersion.

Maintaining privacy is still important emotionally, though, so it is permissible to use white lies as necessary if that will help preserve your sense of privacy. This may depend on the specific shelter-at-home rules in your community and individual family dynamics.

Since the trip to mikveh is typically much shorter now, with all preparations done in advance, this might go more smoothly than you think. Saying you are going out to take a walk might suffice.

Also, keep in mind that you can prepare any time on the day of immersion, and break up your preparations at your convenience. Both of these steps can help preserve privacy. If you prepare earlier in the day, shower quickly and comb your hair right before leaving for the mikveh.

If you wish to talk out your particular case, please call our telephone hotline or your local Yoetzet Halacha.

In this case, your first option is to see if you can make a special arrangement, on account of your allergy, to immerse in the salt water mikveh.

If that is out of the question, you could explore the possibility of immersing in a natural body of water, if this can be done legally and safely. Please see our Q&A about immersing in a natural body of water and get back to us with any questions.

A third option would be to arrange to immerse right after water is changed and before it is treated with chlorine.

Choosing not to immerse is an option, but means that the niddah prohibitions will remain in full force. Dipping in the bathtub is not a halachically valid immersion and does not change a woman’s mikveh status.

Please get back to us with any further questions.

Yes, in this case it is permissible to immerse during the daytime of the eighth day (after what would have been the mikveh night), with no constraints on contact between you and your husband immediately afterwards.

If you have a daughter who indicates that she understands that you’re is going to the mikveh, you should explain before leaving that daytime immersion is only permissible now because it’s a time of crisis.

Since mikva’ot aren’t usually open during the day, putting this into practice depends on coordinating with a mikveh and its rabbinic supervisor.

As the pandemic continues, some mikva’ot may choose to create daytime hours for immersion on the eighth day, in order to accommodate women who can’t get there at night or to ensure that all the women of the community can be accommodated, while limiting the number of women who can be at the mikveh at once.

Yes, given the circumstances, you may delay immersion till after chag.

Keep in mind that the greatest concern at the mikveh is congregating with others, so be sure to make an appointment in advance.

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

Chag sameach!

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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.