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I was told that Jewish proselytes immersed in their birthday suits in ancient times. Is this true? If so, could you please provide sources stating this fact?

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Baptism is a Christian ceremony. So no, in ancient times Jews were not baptized in their birthday suits nor were they baptized in any other suits. – Double AA Nov 8 '12 at 16:57
@DoubleAA, I think he means Tevillah. And yes, Jewish proselytes immersed in a ritual bath called a Mikvah, totally nude, and still do so today. Many Jews immerse regularly for other reasons. Welcome to Mi Yodeya, by the way. – Seth J Nov 8 '12 at 17:00
Thank you, Seth and Double AA. I was thinking of the Mikvah. Thank you for the welcome, Seth. Do you have a source for this? Is it described in more detail in the Talmud? – WalidSaladin Nov 8 '12 at 17:13
As you can see (perhaps) from the discussion below, converts to Judaism immerse naked today. It's harder to find sources on what people did in antiquity, but we're looking. – Charles Koppelman Nov 8 '12 at 19:26
@WalidSaladin sounds like another question you can ask – Charles Koppelman Nov 8 '12 at 19:59

the talmud in Eiruvin, 4b discusses the need for there to be no separation between the skin and the water for any immersion to be valid.

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That doesn't necessarily preclude clothing. In fact the Rambam rules that clothing is ok hebrewbooks.org/… so I don't see how this answers the question, which is tagged history. – Double AA Nov 8 '12 at 17:38
having a b'dieved doesn't establish the normative lechatchilah – Danno Nov 8 '12 at 17:44
yes but not having a source is not worth much on Mi Yodeya. How do you know what the lechatchila is? And moreover, how do you know what the lechatchila was then? Also see Betza 18 where a Niddah goes to the Mikva with her clothes on. – Double AA Nov 8 '12 at 17:45
a source for what? the lashon of "עלתה להן" is clear in what you linked to, as it the initial position of the rambam "כל הטובל צריך שיטבול כל גופו כשהוא ערום" – Danno Nov 8 '12 at 17:46
the gemara in beitza 18a gives an exigent case where the nidah is forced to use subterfuge (certainly not a lechatchilah position, but a deception when she lacks tahor clothing). but the yoreh de'ah 198: 1-3 establishes the position that there should be no chatzitzah and the ramo states that even those items which end up not being a legal chatzitzah should still be removed. – Danno Nov 8 '12 at 18:03

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