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Toivelling? Men using it after a "nocturnal emission?" Going further into the phrase: "Some men, especially in Hasidic circles, also use the mikvah regularly, either daily, before Shabbat, or before certain Jewish holidays." would be nice. People do use the Mikveh, regularly, and the way the article looks now, you'd think it was a dead practice.

For Toivelling, I found a good article via Google:

—  <TALKJNDRLINETALK>     23:33, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

There must be a more direct source available for tevilas Ezra. JFW | T@lk 13:13, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

My (Modern Orthodox) Rabbi's tvila cheatsheet (please adapt rather than copy):

1) There is a Mitzvah (commandment) to immerse all metal and glass utensils that are used in food preparation and consumption into a ritual bath (“mikveh”.). This is referred to as “tevilah” (immersion).

a) This mitzvah is learned from the story of the war against Midian (Numbers chapter 31). In this story, the Jewish People captured dishes among the spoils of war. The Torah commands us to both kasher and immerse the dishes.

i) According to some opinions, this constitutes a sort of sanctification and “conversion” for the dishes. (Others maintain that this is a Torah command whose reason remains hidden.)

ii) Thus, it need only be done when a Gentile previously owned the dishes. If the dishes were made by Jews (Israeli factory and a Jewish store) or owned by Jews who immersed them, then there is no need to immerse.

b) One is not allowed to use utensils that have not been immersed, but if they are used - the food is still kosher. This procedure is completely separate from the process of kashering dishes and keeping kosher. It is an independent commandment regarding one’s dishes.

c) This is a “one-shot deal.” The mitzvah is performed once per utensil, and that’s it.

i) Even if the utensil subsequently becomes non-kosher, it does not need to be immersed again - as long as it remained in your possession.

ii) If a utensil requires both kashering and immersion, kashering is done first.

2) Materials subject to immersion

a) This commandment only applies to metal and glass utensils. Thus:

i) Immersion with a blessing: metal, glass, pyrex, duralex, corelle, bone china (it’s glass).

ii) Immersion without a blessing: corningware, enamel, etc.

iii) Do not require immersion: plastic, wood, stone, styrofoam, earthenware (including glazed china [the glaze is too thin]), paper, etc.

3) Types of utensils subject to immersion:

a) Immersion with a blessing: all utensils used to make food available or ready to eat.

i) Examples: dishes, flatware, glasses, knives, and even appliances.

ii) Appliances can be tricky - one doesn’t want to ruin an electrical appliance. 3 options:

(1) If the part of the appliance that comes in contact with food is removable, then that is the only part that requires immersion. (i.e.- toaster oven racks)

(2) Anecdotal evidence indicates that most appliances can be immersed and will be fine if allowed to dry out for a few days before usage. It is recommended to dry them out on a heater, and do not be alarmed if a little bit of smoke comes out during their first usage. If a lot of smoke comes out, discontinue usage.

(3) If one takes the appliance apart to the point that it is not useable and then reassembles it, then it was “constructed” by a Jew and does not require immersion.

b) Immersion without a blessing: utensils that do not make food immediately ready to eat are immersed without a blessing (i.e.- storage containers, mixer beaters, etc.)

c) Do not require immersion: utensils that do not come in contact with food (i.e. - can-openers, the body of an oven [racks require immersion], etc.)

4) If only part of the utensil is metal/glass, then it only requires immersion if that part is the part that touches the food.

a) Example: A wooden salad bowl with metal handles does not require immersion.

5) Procedure:

a) Make sure that the utensil is clean of debris and stickers

i) Soapy water is very effective at removing the stickers

ii) If a sticker is difficult to remove and you wouldn’t remove it before serving special company, then it need not be removed.

b) Go to a ritual bath (“mikveh.”)

c) Just before beginning to immerse utensils, one recites the following blessing:

i) “Baruch Atah Ado-nai E-loheinu Melech HaOlam Asher Kidshanu B’Mitzvosav V’Tzivanu Al Tevilas Keilim” (if only one, substitute “Kli” for the last word.)

ii) ”Blessed are you Hashem, King of the Universe, who sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us regarding the immersion of utensils” (if only one, substitute “a utensil” for the last word.)

iii) One blessing is sufficient to cover all the utensils being immersed at one time. One should avoid talking between the recitation of the blessing and immersing the vessels.

d) Dunk the utensils

i) It is very important that the utensil be exposed to water on all sides at once.

ii) One should make sure that there is no air trapped in the utensil

(1) Ritual baths usually have a rack or bucket available, so that the utensils can be dropped in (to ensure that water touched them on all sides.) If not, then wet your hands before dunking and hold the utensil loosely.

e) Utensils need only be exposed to the water for an instant.

—  <TALKJNDRLINETALK>     01:57, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Mikva on Shabbos and Yom Tov[edit]

The above article mistakenly states that the use of a mikva is forbidden on Shabbos and Yom Tov, as a matter of fact that is false - according to most Hassidic customs the mikva is used by men on Shabbos and Yom Tov just as well and according to Hassidic teachings Shabbos is the most important and holy time in which to immerse oneself in a mikva (women after nida period also use a mikva on shab) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:02, 20/Jun/06

Move to mikveh[edit]

The correct name is Mikveh. I suggest we move the page there. DMTsurel 15:41, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe a better page for information on immersing utensils is Tevilah (immersion) -- it has its own page and needs more content. Also, could you supply a source for the information in the table? Thanks. Best, --Shirahadasha 07:48, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Im all for keeping it mikveh but there is no official translation of Hebrew letters to English (or Latin) letters so it cant be wrong to say mikvah. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Swanson16 (talkcontribs) 20:15, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Mayim Hayyim-- Need sources[edit]

Currently section on this Boston organization has no sources other than its own web site. Previously the section made a number of claims about it, including that the organization has led to a renaissance in Mikva use among Conservative Jews. Removed those claims for the time being. As an FYI any mention of the organization at all requires verification including independent evidence of the organization's notability based on reliable sources. An organization's own web site can be used to present the organization's positions on issues, but not for claims about its notability, impact on society, etc. Will have to delete this whole section unless appropriate sources are found. Sorry about this. --Shirahadasha 07:44, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Found sources. Times of Israel cites that it recently made Slingshot Guide's List of Jewish programs that are "the most cutting-edge, innovative programs" for the 12th time [1]. Ruderman Foundation praised it for its disability accessibility [2]. Tablet mag also cited it as a major contributor to a renewed non-Orthodox mikveh formation and use movement [3], as does MyJewishLearning [4]. Is this enough to make a small section worthwhile? Sunshine 01:32, 7 November 2018 (UTC)User:Sunshine 20:32, 6 November 2018 (EST) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sunshine6298 (talkcontribs)


Hi! I found an article from Tikkun Magazine that looks at Mayim Hayyim's impact on the mikveh experiences of trans Jews[1], which might also make a small section on this applicable/more robust. Springwinter19 (talk) 03:24, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Springwinter19

I added in a section on transgender people and mikveh use. It mentions Mayyim Hayyim but is not centered around that one specific organization. Springwinter19 (talk) 15:58, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Springwinter19

Ancient miqwa'ot[edit]

I'm looking for the opportunity to link to a description of an ancient miqweh which includes the logic of the otsar to "refresh" the miqweh. Otsarim are to be seen at Masada, Gamla, etc. What should I do here, suggest an addition on the subject or produce a separate article? Thanks.

--Ihutchesson 23:32, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Modern mikvaot are "refreshed" as well. Things haven't changed, at least in the basic concepts, although the plumbing of course is differently constructed. --Shirahadasha 00:20, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
My interest was in the otsar to do the refreshing. I need to expand what I've added to the Qumran article on the stepped cisterns, thought by many to be miqwa'ot. When the water supply is twice yearly run-off water from the hills, there will be need to refresh the miqwah somehow as the year progresses. Having the otsar seems to have been the standard method... --Ihutchesson 13:14, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Volume of Mikvah[edit]

The article makes the following statement: "A mikvah must contain a minimum of forty se'ah of water, approximately 200 gallons or 750 liters." These values seem too high. According to the Weights and Measures article from the online Jewish Encyclopedia, a se'ah is "equal to six cabs, or 13,184.44 cu. cm." So, at approximately 13.2 liters per se'ah, this comes out to 528 liters or 140 U.S. liquid gallons. Other sources, including Wikipedia's article on se'ah, peg the measure at 7.33 liters (1/3 of a bath), which makes the mikvah even smaller at 293 liters. Anyway, I would appreciate someone justifying the 750 liter value. Tm19 05:48, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. Agree the articles present incompatible definitions. Will try to get this sorted out. Best, --Shirahadasha 06:09, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
There is an argument between Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz (Chazon Ish) and R' Chaim Na'eh. The Chazon Ish defined the set of measure in the talmud and mishna as the maximun reasonably possible. He did this so there would be no doubt using his measure that one is fulfilling his obligations. R' Chaim Na'eh on the other hand gave the most likely correct measure. There is significant differences in these measures. In this case 8.3*40=332 or 14.3*40=572 liters. In general, modern halakha will be stringent like the Chazon Ish measure for biblical laws and be lenient for rabbinical law like R' Chaim Na'eh. In this case, Mikvah is biblical and would probably require the greater measure. In this article someone ([ an IP address) used 5 gallons per seah which is incorrect. We have an article about Ancient Hebrew units of measurement, but the Hebrew one is better. Jon513 10:20, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
OK. We're headed in the right direction. I would like to see the footnote in the article expanded a little more. The semi-casual reader might ask, for instance, why the stringent requirement was used. The explanation from Jon513 above is that this higher value is consistent with halakha. It might be better, however, to give a range of possible values, and then link to the corroborating Wikipedia entry. In addition, or alternately, it might be good to note the actual volume (in modern equivalents) of natural water used in contemporary mikvah. Tm19 03:39, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Note that there is an article specifically on Seah, although currently it's a stub. Perhaps detail on various opinions about what a Seah is should go in the seah article and/or Ancient Hebrew units of measurement with only a range (maximum/minumum) going here and a reference to the other article(s) for additional detail. Best, --Shirahadasha 04:17, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree. The frustrating thing is that the highest and lowest estimates we've kicked around so far diverge by a factor of 2. Saying that mikva'ot contain anywhere from 293 to 572 liters just doesn't seem very helpful. But maybe that's the nature of the beast, eh? Can anybody get a "real live" example from the local synagogue? Even citing a single case in Cleveland or Tel Aviv would be instructive before moving on to the the theoretical calculations by rabbis, archaeologists, etc. Tm19 14:39, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not suppose to be "helpful" to construct a mikvah, but to give an accurate idea of what a mikvah is. In practice the smaller size is not relevant at all. It is common place in the case of the mikvah to have the highest possible standards of construction. Most minority opinions are adhered too in the case of mikvah even thought this is not the regular practice for other areas of halakha. see this page (section "Building a Mikva to the Highest Halachic Standards") for a small sample of sources that say that how stringent construction of a mikvah is. I do not think that there is any reason to use the lower estimate in this article since it is never used and that discussion of what is the "real" size of a se'ah belongs on another page. Jon513 19:30, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
By "helpful" I meant, "How could an intelligent but uninformed reader benefit the most from this article?" Such a reader, I would contend (since I'm one of them, well, at least uninformed!), has no idea about these measurements and the internal debates about conversion rates, etc. Your comments above, Jon513, are helpful. From this perspective, I suggest adding a sentence to the footnote along these lines: Although there are a range of conversion values for a seah, Jewish communities will tend to use more stringent standards in order to accommodate a wide range of traditions. See, for example, Howard Jachter, "The Building and Maintenance of Mikvaot." Accessed on March 22, 2007, from Tm19 14:50, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

The construction of modern mikvaos and the permitting by health authorities is an issue that needs clarification. Mikvaos are seen by the authorities as public swimming pools and there are severe health requirements such as Legionella spp. control, filtration and desinfection of the rainwater (which in big cities normally is highly contaminated), how is the water recirculated and filtrated, heating systems and so on. Another problem we are having (I am an Israeli water engineer) is how to upgrade old mikvaos and get the Health Authorities´s approval to legally operate them. (Jaim Klein) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:39, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Clarification, the reason for stringency in Orthodox Judaism isn't "to accommodate a wide range of tradition", it's because the obligation of mikvah following niddah or zavah is considered a Biblical obligation and there's a general rule that Biblical obligations are interpreted strictly to ensure one has complied with them. There is particular stringency because immersion in a mikvah ends a women's niddah period, and sexual relations during niddah or zavah is one of the small number of Biblical obligations requiring Self-sacrifice under Jewish Law to avoid transgressing. Best, --Shirahadasha 16:11, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Tm, I just sent you that link. Perhaps we both found it, or you had it open and didn't reliaze it was from me. :). I think that expanding the footnote to explain why the more striengent ruling is used is a good idea. I will do it in a few days if it is not done before than. However, I think that adding a range of sizes to the main body of the text would be a bad idea. As the smaller volume is not relied on at all for mikvah it would be missleading to state it; It would be like saying that some rabbis say that chicken fat can be eating with cheese (a minority opinion not observed in over 1500 years!). The complete discussion of the size of a seah belongs in another artilce. Jon513 21:27, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

This issue is much more complicated than it seems. The Talmud gives 2 measurements 40 seah and 3 by 1 by 1 cubits. 40 seah can be broken down into cav and eventually eggs, the problem is that the two measurements nowadays are way off (apparently egg and/or human size has change in the past 1600 years) so 40 seah which is equal to 5760 eggs is much smaller than 3 cubits cubed. The Chazon Ish says that since the cubit is the biblical measurement and the conversion to 40 seah is rabbinic therefore we must bestringent for the biblical size. He says that the size of a cubit is 59.7 cent. This would make a mikvah 648 litres and since the halakhic works say to add 1/48 to each cubit you end up with 680 litres. All women Mikvas are bigger than this amount.Benignuman 21:39, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Zavah status and Conservative Judaism[edit]

Need to discuss Zav/Zavah status (for a zavah, this is basically non-menstrual uteral blood, requires a 7 day waiting period and requires immersion -- it's similar to but technically distinct from niddah, involving normal menstrual blood). Orthodox Judaism requires immersion after zavah status. Conservative Judaism recently changed its viewpoint and put out a number of responsa on the subject, and its viewpoint is now somewhat different from Orthodox Judaism. While retaining the basic concept, they liberalized some of the technical details. In particular, the responsa either limited (e.g. by exempting bleeding due to fertility drugs) or effectively abolished Zavah status, and also reduced the time in the regular menstrual niddah state to a total of seven days rather than 11-12. The Niddah article currently has details but they haven't addressed here. Will get to this. --Shirahadasha 14:47, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Lead sentence[edit]

Could we not beat around the bush? A mikvah is a body of water used for ritual purification in Jewish law. The word "mikvah", though in principle ambiguous, is not commonly used in any other sense. Shalom Hello 22:20, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you. The word "mikveh" in the Bible is only used to describe a collection of water; as every reference in the Bible to "mikveh" follows it with "mayim" (water), The only exception is when it refers to hope, which is not the subject of this artice. Nowadays it only refers to a ritual mikvah, not the mikveh hamayim of the mabul (flood) Itzse 22:28, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
But it didn't originally mean that in Hebrew. The Bible's use isn't the only meaning, and the article shouldnt make the assumption that it is, any more than the article on "vacuum" should immediately start talking about "vacuum cleaners", despite the fact that almost everyone is talking about vacuum cleaners when they say "the vacuum". -David
An article on the word "mikveh" should talk about the word "mikveh" just like the article on "vacuum" talks about the word "vacuum". This article similar to the article on vacuum cleaner should explain what a "mikvah" is; yes the one you actually toivel (immerse) in, not the "mikvahs" that have been found in archealogical digs and displayed in museums, which can be mentioned later. When someone wants to find out what a mikveh is; they come to WP to find what it is, not what it is not. The article needs to first say who does use a mikveh before it says who does not. How should someone know what tvilas Ezrah is if the explanation was removed?
This article is about the mikvah that is used nowadays not the other uses that mikvah has in the Bible. BTW what are they? Itzse 22:59, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Hasidic Mikvah going[edit]

As far as I know, all Hasidic groups use the mikveh daily, not just before Shabbos; and non-Hasidic Heradim are no more or less likely to use the mikveh before Shabbos than their Daat Leumi counterparts. 23:58, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I would be great of you could provide a source instead of speaking for experience. Jon513 13:20, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

List of Conservative, Reform, liberal mikvaot[edit]

Under "External links," I added a link to a list (which I compiled) of Conservative, Reform, liberal, and other unaffiliated mikvaot (which are not listed on AFAIK there is not any other comprehensive list of them.Onanothertopic (talk) 00:13, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

The reason I deleted this link as well as a link to Mayim Rabim's discussion board is that the External link policy on links generally to be avoided states that Wikipedia should avoid this type of link:
11. Links to social networking sites (such as MySpace or Fan sites), discussion forums/groups (such as Yahoo! Groups) or USENET.
12. Links to blogs and personal web pages, except those written by a recognized authority.
If an organization like Mayim Rabbim, or someone who can be established as a recognized expert, published a list and undertook to vouch for their reliability, this would be a different matter, but a link to an individual's private facebook entry would appear to be problematic under this policy. I'll point out that because the social realities are that an organization that was incorrectly characterized as non-Orthodox would lose business in the Orthodox world (and doubtless vice versa), there does have to be some care to ensure that descriptions are reliable and an organization is not misidentified or misclassified based on non-reliable information. Although the link policy speaks of "generally" and may permit exceptions, here misclassifying error could cause organizations losses. For this reason, I believe some care to ensure sources are reliable is appropriate here and an exception shouldn't be made. Want to make clear that the issue here is not the content, it's the reliability of the source being linked to. You're welcome to cdd a link to an expert or a list maintained and vouched for by an established organization. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 13:56, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Roger that, sorry. Unfortunately, there is no such list (of non-Ortho mikvaot) maintained by an established organization, believe it or not. I put it together myself for that very reason. But I think it is useful info for people to have. If you can look up ortho. mikvaot on, then where should you look up non-ortho facilities? Is there some other host besides livejournal (it's not facebook) where I could post it? Or does it just have to wait until someone official picks it up? Onanothertopic (talk) 19:27, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I do not think that there needs to be a link to a list of non-orthodox mikvahs. If there is one that meets the requirement of wp:el then great, but if not then there won't be any link. As the publisher of this list you should not be putting the link on wikipedia. Jon513 (talk) 20:32, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, not a problem. I thought the non-Ortho list was a good adjunct to (which doesn't "need" to be on there, either), but if it's forbidden, I understand. Best, Onanothertopic (talk) 01:31, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Found a story someone may- want to write more about.[edit]

A historical Mikvah was just unearthed in Barbados close the the Synagogue.

CaribDigita (talk) 00:24, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Sephardic Hair[edit]

Is there any Proof that "generally have wiry curly hair, which is difficult to comb." this is based on what exactly? in my Experience its Yemenites & ASHKENAZIM which tend to have an afro like texture, In fact the "Jewfro" is an Ashkenazi thing. (Think Gabe Kaplan) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC) link[edit]

There is a discussion located here on the talk page of the Niddah article that applies to this article as well, as it discusses the inclusion of the external link Please use that discussion unless the content specifically applies to this article and not the Niddah article. -shirulashem (talk) 17:08, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Spam links[edit]

Regarding this revert, can someone explain why this article should somehow circumvent WP:SPAM?  Frank  |  talk  18:18, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Before you delete or make a statement that something circumvents WP:SPAM . Read the talk page before and discuss the subject. You obviously didn't read it! Also are you familiar with the definitions or the subject? I suspect no! Then let people who do know the subject do their work. --Ntb613 (talk) 20:03, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
No need to attack, nor to tell me what I "obviously" have or haven't read. The links are spam. You are required to "log in" or "sign up" to read the sites. Instead of attacking me, please explain how that isn't a WP:SPAM link. It has nothing to do with whether money is required; promotion is promotion, whether money exchanges hands or not.  Frank  |  talk  20:11, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
In particular, please see WP:ELNO (links to avoid) #6, which reads: Links to sites that require payment or registration to view the relevant content, unless the site itself is the subject of the article, or the link is a convenience link to a citation. You may note there's a footnote to that item, which states This guideline does not restrict linking to websites that are being used as sources to provide content in articles. Since these are commercial sites, they would not be considered reliable sources, so if the article tried to cite them, it would also not be appropriate.  Frank  |  talk  20:17, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Since this is a guideline and not a policy, it is advisory but not compulsory. If there's a policy about this, I was unable to find it. Is it unprecedented to go against a guideline if there is a consensus to do so? -shirulashem(talk) 20:19, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Guidelines exist as a means of documenting what is generally acceptable - that's the point. There should definitely be a good reason to go against the guideline. In any case, I don't see any consensus to allow spam in this article. What I see is an argument that the external site isn't for-profit, so therefore it can't be spam. I doubt there would be much success at getting consensus to agree with that point of view.  Frank  |  talk  20:37, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

In other words, we agree. -shirulashem(talk) 20:47, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Ntb613 - What we are saying is that since it is a guideline to keep links like this out, you would need to get more editors involved in this discussion and establish a consensus to keep the links in. -shirulashem(talk) 20:47, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Shirulashem - How is this done? How many do we need? Do you have a list of Jewish editors who would understand the subject that could be invited?- Ntb613 (talk) 20:57, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
The religion or ethnicity of the editors involved is not only irrelevant but looks a lot like WP:FORUMSHOPing. This discussion is about spam links and has nothing whatsoever to do with any religion or ethnicity.  Frank  |  talk  21:02, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
As Frank mentions, the religion of the editors who will contribute to the discussion is irrelevant. What you could do, however, is leave a note on the talk page of WikiProject Judaism as a courtesy to the members of that WikiProject to let them know that feedback is being sought on an article that is of high-importance to them. However, there is certainly nothing here that would benefit from the input of people who have practical experience with the subject. -shirulashem(talk) 21:17, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I think it is unknowable at this time whether or not the resolution of this issue would be benefitted by the input of those who have real life experience with the subject. But certainly anyone of any religious identity has equal standing in resolving this issue. Bus stop (talk) 21:39, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
As someone who has real life experience with this subject, I can tell you that the opinions of people with real life experience with this subject shouldn't carry more weight than those without it. :-D -shirulashem(talk) 21:45, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Shirulashem - I left a note on project Judaism page, Could you tell me if i did it in a right way? Ntb613 (talk) 14:04, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Not precisely what I would've put, but I think it's fine. You also might want to take a look at this page to request additional input. -shirulashem(talk) 16:10, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

As I have stated on Talk:Niddah#www.mymikvahcalendar.com_link (unaware of the discussion here), I support this specific link as relevant and contributing to this article. Debresser (talk) 16:20, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:25, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
MikvahMikveh — The correct spelling (from Hebrew) is with "e". This is also the most common spelling in English. Debresser (talk) 23:39, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

It should be "mikve(h)", with an "e". "Mikva(h)" with an "a" is just a (widespread) mistake. Same with the Hebrew: it should be written with a segol, not a kamatz. See the Hebrew wikidictionary. Likewise in the biblical verses Bereishit 1, 10 and Yirmiya 14, 8. Propose to move this page if consensus will agree with this. Debresser (talk) 16:24, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support It seems the consensus among sources is to use a segol. Therefore, it should be renamed to Mikveh. -shirulashem(talk) 19:50, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I recognize the limitations of transliteration, the predominant English language version is "Mikvah". I have no objection to correcting the Hebrew spelling, but I see no pressing justification to change the status quo on the Englis side. Alansohn (talk) 23:50, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Even if "a" were more common (but in the same order of usage), we should stick to the correct version. Debresser (talk) 07:12, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support the move to Mikve (no 'h')—there really is no need for a silent 'he' at the end of--Redaktor (talk) 17:21, 28 July 2009 (UTC) a word.
  • Oppose WP:HE#Article and section titles states "If there is a standard Anglicized name for a topic (Moses, Haifa, Gaza, bris, Torah, rabbi, rebbe, Netanyahu, Jerusalem, etc.), then that name should be used in the title and in in-line text, no matter how unlike the modern Hebrew that name is.", along with a brief sampling of the references listed, suggests to me that the current title is appropriate.
    V = I * R (talk) 03:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
  • The argument of the last two editors is correct, and I have made it myself. See below for a Google search result indication that Mikveh is more widespread than Mikvah, and that we should make the move even according to those who cry "oppose". I have also searched Google, and came to the opposite conclusion, that Mikvah is indeed more used in English. But since this is by a factor of less than 2, we can by no means call this "a standard Anglicized name". What we are left with, therefore, is to choose the correct form of the word. Debresser (talk) 06:57, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. My impression is that mikvah is more common; it's certainly what I would use and remember seeing. The usage in Rebecca Goldstein's novel is at least as important on this as biblical scholarship; it's probably more likely to bring readers here. One complication here is that English probably got the word by ear from Yiddish, so this is part of the question of how we represent Yiddish. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 13:35, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
We would leave a redirect, of course. Debresser (talk) 12:11, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


I think we need a volunteer to search and see which usage, in English, is more common. -shirulashem(talk) 00:10, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

So far, a Google scholar search shows 1,950 results for Mikveh and 1,070 for Mikvah. -shirulashem(talk) 00:11, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Bantam Meggido (ISBN 0553263870) = spelled with a segol (i.e., Mikveh) -shirulashem(talk) 12:49, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Lauden Hebrew-English Dictionary (ISBN 965390003X) = spelled with a segol (i.e., Mikveh) -shirulashem(talk) 12:49, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Some online dictionaries use Mikveh, others Mikvah. No consensus there.
  • See Dictionary of Jewish usage by Sol Steinmetz, who says "mikve or mikveh This is... A very common spelling is mikva or mikvah formed on the pattern of other Hebrew origin words ending in a(h)." Which is precisely my point in a reliable source. Debresser (talk) 07:05, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
    • This is an appropriate source since it discusses English usage. However, as you note, it also says that "a very common spelling is mikva or mikvah. Not a definitive case for mikve/mikveh but a start. — AjaxSmack 17:16, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


I get that RM is not necessarily a democracy, but 3 against, 2 for (counting OP), and 1 for a third form was not a result to move when there was no actual evidence that mikveh is more common. (Here's some, but it only applies to American English: mikvah is rapidly becoming dominant in British; taken together it's a wash.) So—given that the page seems to use British English either by design or by forgetting to configure {{convert}} properly—what was that about? — LlywelynII 15:07, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

mixed measurements[edit]

If you're going to give the volume of a mikveh in liters, you should be giving the top-off amount in liters not pints and vice versa. (talk) 15:42, 17 April 2011 (UTC)


Ḥammān (Islamic baths) are a similar type of ritual purification bath house but it has not got it's own article. The article Turkish bath exists but it's not generic enough. Some editor that has much experience on this article and relevant sources already bookmarked able to flesh out a more generic article on Ḥammāns OR make Turkish bath generic enough to cover the whole subject.... possibly suggest a consensus on renaming Turkish bath to Hamman with a redirect from Turkish bath to Hamman? (talk) 07:26, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Hebrew name[edit]

We've got the standard one, which is fine. We've got two forms of it which is probably unnecessary but could probably be explained. (Is the one on the right more ancient/traditional? It should be formatted to clarify that.) Now what are these? Hebrew: מִקְוִים / מִקְווֹת / מִקְוָאוֹת The plural forms? If so, fine, but they should be formatted so that they precede their romanizations and readers can understand what they're looking at. Except not really fine, since Hebrew declension isn't really germane to the English-language page. There should be a {{linktext}} or [[wikt:xxx|yyy]] link to the Hebrew's Wiktionary entry for that kind of information. What we should have are the English plurals, which seem to be mostly standard ~s and sometimes mikvaot.

While we're at it, a lot of the first paragraph seems off-topic and could probably be improved. If we're keeping two separate Hebrew forms, three plurals, translits, translations, and explanations of the history of the word's usage, it's probably better that we just start explaining what the word normally means and shunt the rest into a #Name section, except for the most common modern Hebrew form.

Given that we're (somehow) going with the version that doesn't match the sound at all, we probably ought to note that its English pronunciation is /mɪkvə/ (esp. US) or /mɪkfə/ (esp. UK) and not /mɪkvɛ/ or /mɪkfɛ/. — LlywelynII 15:32, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

I personally am familiar only with "mikva'ot" (which is the correct form in both biblical and modern Hebrew) and in English and Yiddish "mikves" or "mikvas". These forms should remain in the article, IMHO. Debresser (talk) 04:58, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

No mikveh before 100 BCE; apparition; what before & later evolution; "otzar"[edit]

A "history" paragraph is sourly missing here. I added a bit to the lead to make a start.
The "otzar" and the fact that it is a modern invention is missing too (see Yonatan Adler (Ariel University), The myth of the ’ôṣār in Second Temple-period ritual baths: an anachronistic interpretation of a modern-era innovation, in Journal of Jewish Studies | vol. lxv | no. 2 | autumn 2014).Arminden (talk) 10:42, 13 December 2015 (UTC)ArmindenArminden (talk) 10:42, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

This article needs a rewrite, IMHO. Debresser (talk) 11:51, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

More than two years later, and still not a single word lost about the "otzar". Anyone willing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arminden (talkcontribs) 07:31, 28/Mar/18 (UTC)


We need a section regarding controversies about mikveh use as well as potential protection against problems. Examples include abuse of women by voyeur rabbis (as in Washington, DC), sexual abuse of children and Tzedek's promotion of rules to protect children at a mikveh, as well as controversies surrounding the refusal some single women encounter when they try to use a mikveh.VanEman (talk) 06:38, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for adding well-sourced section about these subjects to the article. Debresser (talk) 21:13, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
@ Debresser I don't know what exactly you are referring to. Adding a lengthy "hate comment" added by a specific biased group of people makes this article unbalanced. We do not add every single comment and recommendation or there is no end. Caseeart (talk) 08:47, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
Well, the subsection about Rabbi Freundel was perhaps a bit too specific, being more about a certain person than about Mikves. The second section is more general, but is on the other hand also limited to Australia. Debresser (talk) 11:30, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
In my opinion that whole section needs to be removed these are related to specific cases much of which are in the last 2 years. In general the user that added all that needs to be reported for all the articles that the user ruined with hate, POV and undue length. I don't understand why the last administrator only blocked the user for 2 weeks given the disruptive editing history. Caseeart (talk) 07:16, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
I think that the section on Freundel and the one about child abuse in the mikveh actually need to be combined. The real theme there is that Jewish communities are recognizing that because people are required to take off all their clothes during a visit, the mikveh can be a place where invasion of privacy or even sexual abuse can be a problem. As a consequence, new safeguards need to be put into place, and I think they are in some places. I will work on combining the two. I don't think "hate" comments" should be published, but nothing published about these controversies is a "hate" comment. These are well documented and referenced situations in Jewish and secular publications, and their publication has apparently brought attention to the mikveh and its use. VanEman (talk) 16:28, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
If VanEman can make the case for raised awareness of the danger of such occurrences, then I think that is both notable and relevant. That is what I would expect to see in a controversies section, ideally. Debresser (talk) 18:19, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
Absolutely not. The You don't take a topic that is 1000's of years old with 10,000's of published articles and incidents on the topic with a history of centuries, and dominate it with a few recent hate propaganda against the religious communities. In general, Wikipedia is not a place to troll articles badmouthing certain groups of people. Caseeart (talk) 06:42, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
First of all, you see that two editors disagree with you. And I also disagree with calling this "hate propaganda". You seem altogether too emotional about this. Debresser (talk) 07:05, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
@(talk) Please excuse my previous rough wording. Yes, there is a problem with a user that tries to dump lengthy undue negative hate materiel in almost every article about a certain subjects and groups of people. In this case - Mikvah is a subject dated back thousands of years. Per WP:RECENT there is no place to have a few negative articles from the last few years. As I said - Mikvah has thousands of unique opinions and stories throughout almost every century and every kingdom in history of the Jews.
This is informational. We are not here to Promote Mikvah or to Speak against it or to raise awareness. Take for example the well edited USA article - This country has millions controversies and enemies. However because it is a 500 year old country with so many details and stories - The article contains informational factors only. It would be unjustified for a User with the same editing habits as VanEman who "dislikes" USA to begin to POV pushing dominate the article with "controversies". (which is why there is no such section and no controversies at all). In general you have been doing an excellent job tirelessly fighting abusive users! - I am surprised.Caseeart (talk) 03:53, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
I have fought VanEman as well. :) I understand your point about avoiding Wikipedia:Recentism. Still, if the point can be made, that this is a worldwide concern in recent years, I am not convinced a few short words would be out of place. Debresser (talk) 07:23, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

The issue of mikveh use continues to be an outsize controversy in Israel, one of the issues that appears to threaten the current coalition as well as threaten the relationship between Israel and the diaspora, Orthodoxy and other streams of Judaism. The two sides are clear:

Side 1: Israel is a Jewish state and Orthodox Judaism should be the recognized religion. Orthodox Chief rabbis should prevail. Conservative and Reform movements are not legitimate . They should not receive any recognition, funding or rights in Israel. At any Jewish religious site, women should be treated as Orthodox rabbis decide. Side 2: The Jewish state should recognize and support all streams of Judaism and respect freedom of religion. State funded facilities should be accessible to all. Women should be able to worship as is their custom. Whether any one editor leans toward Side 1 or Side 2, the Jewish community around the world wants to know what's happening and why these issues exist.

I don't find it problematic to cover arguments. We're Jewish. Arguing is what we do. We're done it for thousands of years and we're not going to stop. not now. not ever. Wikipedia needs to embrace that and not sidestep or delete information on well referenced, widely covered conflicts.VanEman (talk) 17:56, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

@VanEman I just undid your latest additions, while keeping the original paragraphs. I explained my reasons in the edit summary, which I will copy here for your convenience: "The consensus, which included VanEman, was to shorten these paragraphs. Till such time I agree they shouldn't be removed, but at least don't add to them. Also, the additions are not important material." Debresser (talk) 19:09, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

There is no consensus here other than Debresser and me agreeing that info about two controversies it appropriately covered. If there were no more info on these topics, the matter would end. But this issue of Reform and Conservative Jewish rights is continuing to be covered as a MAJOR issue because it is threatening to bring down a coalition government that has only been in place for a year. It's a big deal. If you don't like what I write, then add to it so that it is more balanced from your perspective. I have not put in a single word that is not accurate, well-referenced and up-to-date. I also believe it's balanced. If you don't, then add more perspectives from ultra-Orthodox viewpoints...VanEman (talk) 04:18, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

As I mentioned earlier - this topic is 1000's of years old and are 10,000's of articles on this topic. Your recent events addition has no place at all and is not more notable than all the history about the subject dating through Europe, Soviet Russia, Middle East. @ Debresser I don't either understand your argument to put a short mention "for raised awareness". Why don't we put this same in the article Gym or any such other place to raise awareness. In either case I think it should be removed until corrected AND we write about everything else. Caseeart (talk) 10:12, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
If the correction that Debresser spoke about does not happen anytime soon - I will go ahead and delete it. Especially because as I explained - even that version is not warranted in the first place. Caseeart (talk) 09:11, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the notification. I concur. At the same time, I would be happy to see something general at least. This article seems to contain something useful. Debresser (talk) 14:35, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
In either case my stance does not change here that this is an informational article and there are much more missing items aside from wp recenisim. If something is to be added it should be informational short and to the point. Also, there is so much more history to be added on the subject Caseeart (talk) 05:27, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

Lead section[edit]

User:VanEman has added some material that is completely unfit for a lead. Statements like "Rabbi such and such pointed to the Bible to show such and such" are so unencyclopedical. He is also edit warring about it, as usual. I have restore the previous text, and added a reference to it. Debresser (talk) 07:34, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

The banner on the article asks all of us to add specific references from reliable sources. I have done that and yet Debresser deletes them. It is important for us to have references that don't simply say "The Torah says..." but rather give chapter and verse. Readers need to be able to know where to find these references. Also, this article is primarily written from the perspective of Orthodox Judaism. References should not be deleted simply because they come from a woman rabbi of a stream of Judaism that the Orthodox might perceive as pagans. VanEman (talk) 17:36, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Regarding your first point: I restored the previous (consensus) version, and added a source to it. Also, please appreciate, that not all sourced information is acceptable, depending on the quality of the source, and the placement of the specific information in the article. Regarding your second point: who said that that is the reason it was deleted? Please understand, that the fact that you mention this point only proofs that you are the one having a strong POV problem (which has been established in previous discussions as well). A third point you tactfully don't mention is that whatever your convictions are regarding these two points, you are not allowed to edit war about them, which is a big problem with you! Debresser (talk) 21:04, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
@Debresser Agree with you and keep up the work preventing these articles from being ruined. We need to go through the edits of that user in general.Caseeart (talk) 06:38, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Recent removals[edit]

To be fair, this article was protected after the removal of much information that indeed was unsourced, but 1. nobody claims is incorrect 2. can easily be sourced. I would have been happy to continue working on improving this article. There is no doubt in my mind, that VanEmans removals will be restored in the end, with appropriate sources. The protection at this stage only halts this process. Debresser (talk) 22:28, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

If you want to reference the material that's there, I hope you do so when the article is opened up. The notice has been sitting there for months asking editors to do so. I will be adding more referenced information and deleting information that is not referenced. I suggest that once it's open, you start referencing items in their order of importance. Ie fouf I delete something that's not referenced, don't start an edit war. Just leave it deleted and add it back when you find an appropriate reference. Defending unreferenced materials is a losing strategy. Biblical references need to say where they are to be found, not just "In the Torah."VanEman (talk) 06:55, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
First of all, unsourced material should not be deleted just because it is unsourced. There is no such policy or guideline. Only if you think, or even have reason to suspect, it is not correct, in other words, if you are challenging the information, in that case you can remove it. See WP:V. Even in such cases it is customary, with the exception of WP:BLP, and a matter of correct procedure in community editing, to first tag the statement and give reasonable time for other editors to provide sources. Mass deletions without reason and without warning, will likely be reverted because of these two reasons.
I propose you tell us here what you want to remove, and if you are actually challenging it or not, and I'll be happy to look for sources. I think you can start with the information you remove in these edits from right before the protection was put in place. Debresser (talk) 09:14, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
It is wrong to say that unsourced material cannot be removed. Wikipedia requires that all material be referenced properly. It is not my responsibility to look for sources for unsourced material. if someone wants to keep it in, the he should source it. There is a banner on the article giving fair warning. The lead has unsourced material and I will indeed delete it if it's not referenced by April1 VanEman (talk) 19:17, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
Your response to the edit warring warning on your talkpage[1] is duly noted. You ignore the fact that I have pointed out to you that you are making up a non-existing policy. You ignore my proposal to discuss perceived problems here in detail. You prefer to threaten with another edit war. Keep up the good work! Debresser (talk) 21:00, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
Do not delete. Most of the 5 million wiki articles especially those that are not read much - are filled with material and no citations. If something is informational undisputable and neutral without pov - it could wait until the citation is placed. Caseeart (talk) 06:45, 30 March 2016 (UTC)


Under Child Abuse, there is a missing space after a closing parenthesis. I can't remember where it is, but the Child Abuse section is pretty small, and it should be easy to find. Lou Sander (talk) 06:13, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Fixed. Thanks for pointing this out. -- -- -- 21:17, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

"Jewish priest"[edit]

Why does this article use the term "Jewish priest" instead of "Kohen"? --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 10:56, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Agree, not good. We have an article Kohen! Debresser (talk) 20:45, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
 Done Debresser (talk) 20:47, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 09:51, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Comparison with other public bathing facilities[edit]

I read the article and had a couple of questions which I think the article should be updated to address. How is a mikveh different from a public swimming pool or public bath, in terms of the hygienic requirements? That is,

  • Do people shower or bathe before or after immersion?
  • What is done to prevent the water from becoming contaminated with bacteria or other pathogens?

The first question probably seems silly for those who are familiar with the process. I'm not familiar with it and the article only mentions prior showering for peope with dreadlocks. (The Jewish scholarly authorities always think of everything.) As for the second question, it's clear that the use of running water would have ensured relatively clean water in the pre-modern era, but what is done now? Here on the talk page there is some discussion about how a mikveh is treated as a public swimming pool. Are they tested or chlorinated or something? Again, I don't mean to be intrusive or to appear judgmental about what is done, I'm merely interested in how this process is a part of people's lives. Roches (talk) 17:19, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

People are supposed to shower, and women do so, but not all men. Chlorine is added and some mikves have filters in the water. This would all need to be sourced, of course. Debresser (talk) 21:23, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Men are expected to shower before Mikveh.
  • When it's before Rosh HaShana or Yom Kippur, the DC Mikvah posts:
    "Men should bring their own towel, and shower at home before using the mikvah. Due to the volumes of men on these days, please do not shower at the mikvah."
  • Regarding Towels, a Mikveh in Cleveland posted:
    "Men's Mikvah Policies: Towels are available only on Shabbos and Yom Tov mornings.
    Everyone must shower before entering the pool"
  • A Sephardic source, re Ereb Yom Kippur:
    "... it suffices to stand under the shower until 12.5 liters of water ..." (before going in mikveh)
Is there an attendant there (men's mikveh)? Not necessarily. Pi314m (talk) 05:06, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

For men, showering or bathing is recommended, by way of cleanliness and a courtesy to other visitors of the mikveh. Is is not obligatory in Jewish law. Not in the time after the destruction of the Temple, in any case. If you think otherwise, you are mistaken. All those signs and articles talk about recommended decent behavior, not Jewish law. Debresser (talk) 15:40, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

"It is not obligatory in Jewish law." Just to further clarify: It is not obligatory with respect the laws of mikve themselves. It may be obligatory under the rubric of Dina d'malkhuta dina, like many other public health laws and regulations. But that's a different question, and it doesn't mean that men don't ignore that anyway. (Side note: local Mikva where I live stopped allowing men's hours, even on erev yom tov, because the men were leaving the mikva so completely gross. Since then, a men's mikva has opened locally, but there was a stretch of time when men wanting tevilah before even Yom Kippur had to travel quite a ways to find a place they could immerse.) StevenJ81 (talk) 14:58, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

I think that we can agree to include some text that says that halachically, women are obligated to bathe before mikve. There's no halachic obligation for men, but it is common for modern mikves to require it for hygiene reasons, with some citations to back it up. I'd like to know what the "Sephardic source" mentioned above is, Pi314m. Do Sephardim hold that mikve for men before YK is a halachic obligation? --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 15:48, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

@Dweller Of course they don't.
By the way, all of this would change, of course, if the Temple were rebuild and purity laws re-enacted. Then, men will have to abide by the same laws of mikveh as women. Debresser (talk) 19:51, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

About your Third Opinion request: The request made at Third Opinion has been removed (i.e. declined). Like all other moderated content dispute resolution venues at Wikipedia, Third Opinion requires thorough recent article talk page discussion before seeking assistance. A single exchange between the parties is not sufficient (and two-year-old posts will not be considered). If an editor will not discuss, consider the recommendations which are made here. Also remember that all assertions must be sourced to a reliable source as defined by Wikipedia and that the Original Research Policy prohibits generalizing (a kind of synthesis) from individual instances to make a general statement (so just because three places do something does not mean that you can say that the thing is generally required, you must have a reliable source which specifically says that it's generally required). — TransporterMan (TALK) 21:45, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

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Scare Crow & S*X[edit]

The second paragraph of the Washington Post's article, quoted with only the above-indicated EDIT, is:

"So what is a mikvah, anyway, and does it have anything to do with s*x? We explain."

If Tanach is a Primary Source and the Talmud is a Secondary Source, then is anything written in the past 200 years a Tertiary source?

The wording of the Scare Crow which I've copied/moved here (check with your friendly Comp Sci major for the difference) is-

This article uncritically uses texts from within a religion or faith system without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them.

Other situations on Wiki have clearly made the point: if the Native Americans had to be given their say on what Islam believes and those who eat Davar Acher an opinion on Chasicic practices, then Wiki could not have articles on many of the topics which it covers.

If the article is incomplete, then perhaps it's because Wiki is not a manual. Taking a shower in any Brooklyn men's Mikvah is normal practice. Likewise in a woman's Mikvah. I use Brooklyn as source of example since, outside of Israel, there probably is no other place on planet Earth with as many choices of Mikvah per (name your unit of measure). Pi314m (talk) 20:46, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

  1. ^ Kristan, A. (2006). Opening Up the Mikvah. Tikkun, 21(3), 55–57.