The Cycle of Sanctity: A Mikvah Observance Checklist
Jewish marriage sanctifies man and woman. Mivkah observance introduces times of separation and reunion as part of a cycle in married life. Separation begins with the onset of the menstrual flow. It is a time when the depth of the husband-wife relationship is expressed without physical intimacy. It is a period of anticipation and preparation for Mikvah immersion. The reunion that follows holds the highest potential for sanctity in marriage.
Mikvah immersion is entrusted to the woman. It is a moment of special closeness in a woman's relationship with G-d. It is an auspicious time for her personal prayers and requests to be granted.
This checklist is useful prior to immersion. Complete understanding and observance of these laws necessitates in-depth study and subsequent review on a woman-to-woman basis, in private or group settings, with an open sharing of knowledge and experience.
It is our prayer that the practice of Mikvah will enrich the dynamics of your relationship and benefit your family.
Prerequisites for Immersion
Shortly before sunset, on the day your period ends (at least the fifth day of menstrual cycle), make the initial internal examination, (Hefsek Tahara &Moch Dochuk ), using a soft white checking cloth..
Begin using white undergarments and bed lines.
On the morning following the successful initial internal examination, begin counting the Seven (7) Days.
Make the required daily examinations (Bedikos).
Immersion takes place the following week, after nightfall, on the same day of the week, as the initial examination. (For example, if you make the initial examination on Sunday before sunset, you will immerse on the following Sunday night.)
Call the Mikvah a few days in advance to check if an appointment is necessary and whether a preparation room, with a bath and supplies, is available.
If you are traveling, or are away from home, view our Mikvah Directory to find a Mikvah near you.
If the time of your immersion falls on the Sabbath (Friday night), Saturday night, or a Jewish Holiday, discuss the special preparations and arrangements needed for these occasions.
Prior to immersion, special precautions are taken to ensure that no intervening substances will separate any part of your body from the waters of the Mikvah.
Cutting, shaving or waxing of hair should be done a few days prior to immersion.
Questions concerning staining and other personal matters relating to mikvah observance are quite common. The mikvah attendant, or your local Rebbetzin, can obtain confidential replies to private halachic questions, or refer you directly to a Rabbi experienced in discreetly addressing these sensitive issues.
The Day of Immersion
It is advisable to refrain from kneading dough, using glue, paint or any other substance which is difficult to remove
Meat and chicken should not be eaten, except in honor of the Sabbath or a Jewish holiday.
It is best to begin your preparations before sunset.
You should not eat between the time of our bath and your immersion.
Suggested List of Items Useful in Preparation
baby shampoo without conditioners
nail polish remover
washcloth, sponge, loofah
Additional Items to Bring to the Mikvah
Contact lens case
Pair of colored underwear
You can use the checkboxes beside each item to keep track of what you've done. If you would like to see a checklist including the timing to be allowed for each step of your preparation, please click here
*In rare cases where conditioner must be used to prevent knots in the hair, be sure to rinse out throughly
Enter the Mikvah and immerse once. Recite the blessing:
May it be Your will, L-rd, Our G-d and G-d of our fathers, that the Holy Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days, and grant us a portion in Your Torah.
The gates of heaven are now open to your private prayers.
There are important guidelines to proper use of the Mikvah. To ensure that all preparations and the actual immersion are all performed correctly, one should be advised by a reliable counselor. For a free and confidential consultation, please call 718-756-5700 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.