Thursday, May 13, 2010

Must a mikvah attendant be present?

A Dear DovBear letter from Emily:

I hope all is well with you. I've actually been reading your blog on and off for years and it's great. (I assume you know this already.)

Someone suggested that perhaps you'd be able to help me out with a question.

I'm working on a short story in which a woman immerses in the mikvah without the attendant present. The attendant not being there is essential to the plot. I need to know if this is ever a possibility and allowed.

...I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to find out if having a mikvah attendant is true halacha or a chumra. I understand that for logistical reasons, it would be preferable to have an attendant but is it necessary? I can't imagine that women would be told not to immerse if there is no one to watch.

 I went to askmoses.com and here is a transcript of the conversation:

Rabbi Richler: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...
emily: i really hate going to the mikvah, to the point that i would rather not go at all. my husband suggested that i ask if i can immerse without the mikvah lady in the room. that would make this mitzvah infinitely easier to keep. would that be allowed?
Rabbi Richler: while i would very much love to help you, we at askmoses cannot answer halachic questions. you (or your husband) need ot ask this question to your rabbi or to your local rav
emily: okay, i understand. but i'm not asking as a matter of halacha. i would like to know if hypothetically, a woman would be permitted to immerse w/o an attendant? forget that it's my situation? like let's say there wasn't someone able to watch, and it was a lake. one would still have to immerse on time. is it necessary for an attendant to be present?
Rabbi Richler: generally yes it is needed to make sure you are fully immersed and that your hair is not floating
emily: and i understand that in my personal case, i'd have to have a heter to do such a thing? or would it not be heter since technically, there doesn't need to be someone there? just like some kind of more authorization?
Rabbi Richler: you would need a heter from a rav
emily: so having the attendant there is halacha?
Rabbi Richler: yes
emily: thank you.

Readers? Anything helpful to add?

Rudeness? Are you kidding? Another 0


Search for more information about [topic] at 4torah.com.

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