Updated: Sep 11
An important (updated) message by Rabbanit Etta Bendavid about how to safely immerse in the mikvah during the Corona crisis. Please reach out to Rabbi Bendavid or Rabbanit Etta with any personal questions or concerns related to immersing.
The mitzvah of Mikvah has always required a tremendous amount of devotion and dedication by women. Throughout lockdown and restrictions on exposure during the Coronavirus pandemic, however, the level of devotion needed for this mitzvah has significantly increased. Tovelot and Balaniyot have been meticulous to meet the standards of Misrad HaBriut to ensure the safety of all women immersing and tending to our mikvaot.
Is it safe to immerse in our Raanana mikvaot at this time?
1) There is absolutely no transfer of the virus through the chlorinated mikvah water. Immersing is safe. The risk of going to mikvah is coming into contact with other people and surfaces, other than the water. This is why appointments must be scheduled in advance to allow for proper spacing of tovlot to minimize exposure.
2) In Raanana, our three mikvaot are run under Misrad HaBriut AND the Mo’atza HaDatit. Therefore, the misrad habriut regularly assesses the cleanliness of the mikvaot. If a mikvah is unsafe, they WILL shut it down.
3) Furthermore, a woman must not go to the mikvah if she: a) Is in quarantine or has taken a coronavirus test and is waiting for results b) Has a fever or any symptoms of COVID-19 c) Has come in contact with anyone with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days.
4) I am in constant communication with the head of the mikvaot here in raanana, so if you went to the mikvah and have a concern, please also let me know.
All feedback has been communicated and used to ensure best practices.
If you need to toveil and hesitate going to mikvah, please reach out to discuss any of your concerns, including the questions below, in a confidential way, as everyone’s situation and questions are different.
- Are there other options for tevilah if I am particularly worried about being at a mikvah?
- What is the safest way to immerse if my spouse or I have a health condition like asthma, diabetes, etc (ושלום חס?)
- How do I practically, halachically and safely tovel in the sea?
I also recommend watching:
1) The Eden Center/OU Israel session, “Is the Mikvah Safe?” moderated by Dr. Sharon Galper Grossman, in conversation with the Director of Infectious Disease, a halachic posek, head moetza and yoetzet halacha: https://zoom.us/rec/share/-_J3I4q3tXpJHI3AzGH9ZZ4HDoXuT6a8gXBL8_oEyE5Z1Z fYeN1i05Dc47DfVbRr
2) An Important Message about Mikvaot in Raanana from Rabbanit Etta and Rav Eitan Bendavid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS3zVMLzC_A&t=2s
Guidelines to Safely Immerse in the Mikvah During COVID-19
Based on the instructions of: Dr. Mitchell Schwaber, Director of Infectious Disease in Israel, in collaboration with Rabbi Bendavid, Rabbanit Rivka Stein, Head of Mikvaot, Moatza HaDatit and Misrad HaBriut
● You may not immerse if you are in quarantine, waiting for test results, have a fever or feel generally unwell.
● Please spend as little time as possible in the prep rooms (do not plan to shower or use facilities there)
● Reduce the contact you will have with anyone else
● You want to remain at least 2 meters apart from anyone else
● Remember there is no transfer of virus in chlorinated water
1. Make an appointment by calling the mikvah in advance.
Please call between 10:00-13:00 and 18:30 until closing time. Phone numbers and addresses are:
● Herzl (hertzl 3) 09-774-6765 (this location has 3 בורות)
● Ravutsky (Ravutsky 72): 09-765-2366 (this location has 1 בור)
● Kiryat Sharet (Peretz 53): 09-771-1046 (this location has 2 בורות)
● Rivka Stein (Head of Mikvaot): 050-667-8140
1. Do ALL preparations (chafifa and iyyun) AT HOME to avoid using the facilities at the mikvah. Remember to remove all jewelry and contacts (if you wear glasses)
2. Wear a loose outfit and flip-flops/crocks to reduce the time it takes to undress.
3. I recommend bringing two towels and a plastic bag.
4. When you get to the mikvah at your appointed time, the balaniyot will check your temperature and ask you screening questions about your health.
5. Enter your prep room, wash hands, undress and put your clothes into your bag.
6. You do not need to shower as you did all prep at home.
7. LAST-minute Iyyun: comb through hair and ensure no chatzitzot
8. When you are ready to immerse, the balanit will remain at a 2m distance, at least. She will NOT touch you NOR your towel. Her role is to ensure your entire body has immersed and she is there for safety.
9. Drape your towel over the handrail (which you can confirm was disinfected). Put your second towel on the floor by the water to step from shoes onto towel into water.
10. Immerse as you normally would
11. Emerge, try to avoid touching railing
12. Return to dressing room
13. You may leave exact change there or pay next time or online.
14. When you return home you have a heter to shower to relieve concerns of possible contamination.
Again, please reach out with questions, concerns or feedback
Etta Bendavid, Rabbanit Shivtei Israel 058-789-7004