Summary of Preparations  

  

 

    How to determine when your "MIKVAH NIGHT" is:

Wait at least five days from the onset of your menstrual cycle. If your cycle begins even a moment before sunset, it counts as the first of the five days. Abstain from intimate relations from the onset of your mentrual cycle until after immersion in the Mikvah.

When your bleeding has ended  (minimum 5 days from when your cycle began- for many women it may be 6 or 7 days), wash yourself and use a soft white cloth to make your internal examination. It is critical that this examination take place before sunset. This examination is called HEFSEK TAHARA. (For example: If you got your period on Sunday during the day, you count 5 days - Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday- and on Thursday, BEFORE SUNSET, make your hefsek tahara.) 

If this examination comes out clean (the discharge has no blood) insert a white cloth (moch dochuk) from before sunset until sundown) and change into white undergarments. 

If this cloth is clean your 'seven clean days' count begins:

Make daily examinations during the next seven days, once in the morning and once before sunset, particularly the first and last days. Wear white underwear and sleep on white linen.

A t the end of seven completely “white” days, you may prepare yourself for immersion. For example, if you made a successful initial internal examination on Sunday afternoon before sunset, you will immerse the following week on Sunday after nightfall. This will be minimum twelve days since the onset of your menstrual cycle.

Once you have determined your Mikvah "night" you can go ahead and schedule your Mikvah appointment. Click here to schedule

 

 

 

 

      How to prepare for immersion in Mikvah:

Before one immerses they want to make sure there are no intervening substances between your body and the Mikvah waters. In preparation for immersion we bathe thouroughly. Here is an overview:

Mikvah Preparation (Chafifa)

  1. Bathe in warm water. Take your time. Bath should be leisurely and long enough to soften your skin. Trim your finger and toe nails. Remove all dirt, old scabs- that rub off easily in the bath, makeup, nail polish, hangnails, calloused skin on the bottom of your feet.
  2. Wash and comb your hair. If possible do not use conditioner so as not to leave any film on your hair.
  3. Wash hard to reach places, naval, behind your ears, between toes, private parts, under your breasts, scalp etc.
  4. No creams or any substance that will serve as a barrier between your body and the Mikvah waters.
  5. It is preferable to shave or wax a few days earlier so as not to inadvertently be left with sticky wax or small hairs stuck to your body.
  6. Brush and floss your teeth (use no wax floss). It is customary not to eat meat on the day of Mikvah immersion as it gets stuck in your teeth. 
  7. Ask a Rav if you have any temporary dental work, stitches, medical equipment, cosmetic enhancements or anything else that would come between you and the Mikvah waters.
  8. After your bath, take a shower to rinse yourself off.
  9. Comb any hair (no knots) and check for loose hairs that may have fallen on you.
  10. Remove contact lenses, jewelry etc.
  11. Look yourself over, comb your hair, feel in hard to see places, look in the mirror for loose hairs on your body, lint etc.
  12. Go over the checklist in the Mikvah to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
  13. Put on the robe and slippers, buzz the intercom and indicate that you are ready.

 

 

 3     Immersion in the Mikvah

 

  1. Step into the water
  2. Splash some water on your eyelids and underarms.
  3. Immerse totally in a squatting or fish position. (No need to stay under more than a few seconds).
  4. Do not clench your hands, mouth, eyes, or any part of you. Just be natural and relaxed.
  5. After your first dip, stand up, cross one hand over your chest and one hand around your waist and say the Brocha

“Boruch Atoh Hashem Eloheinu Melech Haolam Asher Kidishonu Bimitzvotov Vitzivonu Al Hatevila”

Some people have a custom to use a cloth or shower cap to put over her head when they say the blessing. 

Some have the custom to say the blessing before immersion. 

  1. Dip two more times under the water (For a total of 3 dips or whatever your custom is.)

Each time the mikvah attendant will say KOSHER to indicate you were totally immersed.

  1. Say the Yehi Ratzon prayer. (It is available at the mikvah.)
  2. Now is a special time to concentrate on praying for yourself, spouse, family etc.
  3. Come out of the mikvah, the mikvah lady customarily greets/touches you. Return to your room to get dried up and dressed.
  4. Do not shower or bathe at the Mikvah after immersion.

 

Please note that a consultation with a rabbi who specializes in the laws of family purity may be necessary if you have any bandages, casts, stitches, temporary dental work or unusual skin condition. You should also consult for any unusual staining or if you are unclear as to the status of any discharge during your seven clean days.

This is only a minimal, brief overview. Please review the laws in greater detail with a person who is well versed in the laws of family purity. To set up an individualized learning session, please call or email us .

Packets of soft white cloths, ideal for examinations, are available at the Mikvah.
 

For a slideshow review of the laws of Taharat Hamishpacha (Family Purity) click here

To review the checklist to make sure you haven't overlooked anything click here

Suggested reading:

Total Immersion

The Secret of Jewish Femininity

          Waters of Eden

Visit Mikvah.org for online refreshers course

Mikvah.org has a wide array of online resources, classes and videos on the subject.