1

Some Ashkenaz women dunk once in a mikva, some twice, and some three times. What is the basis or rationale for dunking three times?

  • There is a Noda B'Yehuda on this – sam Mar 14 at 14:20
  • IIRC At least for men, one should do at least three dunks, and if he does more, it should be an odd number (presumably because of zugos being dangerous). – DonielF Mar 14 at 14:35
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    Zugos by mitzvos? – sam Mar 14 at 15:06
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The Sefer Chasidim (siman 294) brings a source for this practice. Namely, that "tahor" is found three times in a passuk in Tanach that relates to the mitzvah of immersion.

The p'sukim are:

1) Ezekiel 36:5

וְזָרַקְתִּ֧י עֲלֵיכֶ֛ם מַ֥יִם טְהוֹרִ֖ים וּטְהַרְתֶּ֑ם מִכֹּ֧ל טֻמְאוֹתֵיכֶ֛ם וּמִכָּל־גִּלּ֥וּלֵיכֶ֖ם אֲטַהֵ֥ר אֶתְכֶֽם׃

I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your fetishes.

2) Leviticus 16:19

וְהִזָּ֨ה עָלָ֧יו מִן־הַדָּ֛ם בְּאֶצְבָּע֖וֹ שֶׁ֣בַע פְּעָמִ֑ים וְטִהֲר֣וֹ וְקִדְּשׁ֔וֹ מִטֻּמְאֹ֖ת בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

and the rest of the blood he shall sprinkle on it with his finger seven times. Thus he shall cleanse it of the uncleanness of the Israelites and consecrate it.

3) Leviticus 16:30

כִּֽי־בַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֛ה יְכַפֵּ֥ר עֲלֵיכֶ֖ם לְטַהֵ֣ר אֶתְכֶ֑ם מִכֹּל֙ חַטֹּ֣אתֵיכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֥י יְהוָ֖ה תִּטְהָֽרוּ׃

For on this day atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you of all your sins; you shall be clean before the LORD.

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