The alternatives for men if a Mikveh is not available-Part 1-Using a swimming pool

The alternatives for men if a Mikveh is not available:[1]

A. Introduction:

The immersion in a Kosher Mikveh accomplishes two matters. It purifies a person from the Keri impurity and it adds extra purity to the soul, cleansing it in a form of Teshuvah [i.e. Tosefes Taharah].[2] According to many Poskim[3] these two aspects and benefits are independent of each other and receive separate laws in a case that a Kosher Mikveh is not available. Regarding the purification from Keri the Sages established that a Kosher Mikveh is not required and hence the immersion in drawn water or pouring of nine Kavim is valid, [as will be explained below]. However, regarding the purity added to the soul these forms of Mikveh are invalid.[4] Hence, one is always to prefer a Kosher Mikveh over using the methods below and the methods below are to only be used when there is lack of alternative.[5] On the other hand there is also a stringency regarding the purification of a Baal Keri over the aspect of Tosefes Taharah, as the Poskim bring that in a time of need one may pour water over the hands or learn Mishnayos to accomplish the Tosefes Taharah. It however does not help to purify one from the state of Keri. [See Q&A for details on this topic]

B. Using Mayim Sheuvim-swimming pool:[6]

To achieve purification from the state of Keri one may immerse in 40 Seah [90 gallons or 332 liters[7]] of even drawn water that is in the ground [such as a typical swimming pool].[8] However, it does not help to immerse in a vessel that contains drawn water.[9]

Q&A on Sheuvim

Can one fill up his bathtub and immerse in the water for purification of Keri?[10]

It is only valid to do so if: a) the hole of the bathtub is at least 3.8 centimeters wide[11], and b) one is able to stop up the hole, and c) it is filled with 332 liter of water, and d) one is able to fully immerse his entire body within the water simultaneously. [Typical bathtubs are not large enough to accomplish this by a normal sized person.]

 

May one initially use a swimming pool as a Mikveh?[12]

In ground pools: If a Kosher Mikveh is available, one is not to immerse in a swimming pool. This applies even if the pool does not contain a filter.[13] If a Kosher Mikveh is not available one may immerse in the pool, making sure to turn off the filter prior to doing so.[14] If one is unable to turn off the filter he is nevertheless not to refrain from immersing in the pool if there is no other Mikveh available.[15]

Above ground pools:[16] Above ground pools are invalid for immersion, even for the sake of a Baal Keri, it as it is invalid too immerse in a vessel that contains drawn water.

 

______________________________________________________

[1] Admur 606:11 regarding Erev Yom Kippur

[2] Shalah Hakadosh Yuma p. 288; Minchas Yitzchak 3:64; Kinyan Torah 1:33; See Igros Kodesh 9:353; Igros Kodesh brought in Shulchan Menachem 1:143; Igros Kodesh Rebbe Rayatz 2:142 distinguishes between the two matters regarding pouring and Mishnayos.

[3] Shalah ibid; Minchas Yitzchak ibid; Kinyan Torah brought in previous footnote.

Other Poskim: Some Poskim are lenient and rule that the leniencies of Sheuvim [and Zochlin] apply even when one immerses for Teshuvah or Tosefes Taharah. [Munkatcher in Divrei Torah 9:83; Torah Leshma 375; Piskeiy Teshuvos 88:6] Nevertheless even the above Poskim are initially stringent [Darkei Chaim Veshalom 356; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]

[4] Shalah ibid; Minchas Yitzchak ibid; Kinyan Torah ibid

[5] Kinyan Torah 1:33; Piskeiy Teshuvos 88:4; and so is implied from Admur 606:11-see previous footnotes.

[6] Admur 88:1; 159:23; 606:11; Beis Yosef 88; Mishneh Mikvaos 8:1

[7] Shiurei Torah 3:29

Other Opinions: According to the Chazon Ish 40 Seah is 576 liters.

[8] As this immersion for the purpose of purifying oneself from the state of Keri is valid even when using drawn water. [Admur ibid]

[9] Admur 606:11; 88:1 [in parentheses]; Rambam Mikvaos 1:1; M”A 606:9; M”B in name of Rav Akiva Eiger; Stringent opinion in Gemara Brachos 22b; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 88 footnote 44 for a discussion on this matter.

Other Opinions: There is an opinion in the Gemara ibid that rules a vessel is valid for a Baal Keri.

[10] Divrei Yichezkal 13; Piskeiy Teshuvos 88 footnote 44

[11] Shiurei Mikveh p. 163 [However Lechatchila it is to be 4.8 cm wide]

The reason: This is the measurement required for an item to not be considered a vessel.

Other Opinions: According to the Chazon Ish Shefoferes Hanod is 4.8 cm wide.

[12] See Minchas Yitzchak 3:64; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 88:6 which states that a pool is [even initially!] valid even if its filter is working. This is not fully accurate as explained in the supplement and footnotes below. Nevertheless, in a time of need certainly one is not to refrain from immersing in a pool with a filter.

[13] As pools are mostly made of Sheuvim, which is invalid for Tosefes Taharah according to many opinions, as explained in the introduction above, and the next supplement. Furthermore, even according to the lenient opinions mentioned there, they agree that it is proper to initially immerse in a Mikveh that is valid even for women.

[14] In order to avoid the problem of Zochlin according to all.

[15] As according to some Poskim the filters used in pools are not considered Zochlin. [See Supplement and Piskeiy Teshuvos 88:6] Furthermore according to some Poskim Zochlin is valid for a Baal Keri. See supplement on men immersing in a Mikveh with a filter.

[16] Admur 606:11; 88:1 [in parentheses]; M”B in name of Rav Akiva Eiger; Stringent opinion in Gemara Brachos 22b; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 88 footnote 44 for a discussion on this matter.

Other Opinions: There is an opinion in the Gemara ibid that rules a vessel is valid for a Baal Keri.

About The Author

Leave A Comment?