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Halachic Source for Women-Only Mikvaoth?

There are dedicated mikves (pool) for men and women.

A friend said me that the reason of this separation is that a woman can't go after a man in the mikve because there is a possibility that the man left some zera which can go in the woman and she could be pregnant.

It was unable to give me a source but an other person gave me the same reason (but also without source)

This reason sounds a it strange for me: the probability for that event happens is very low to decide this prohibition.

Does someone have a source of this takana or an other reason to the fact that a woman does not go in the pool after a man ?

Thanks !

  • i am voting to reopen because this question has a potential answer that the other does not: the difference in halachic requirements for a men's mikvah from a women's
    – SAH
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 0:01

1 Answer 1


Afraid your friend got it horribly, horribly wrong.

There are modesty reasons why you wouldn't want women immersing (so they can be with their husbands) running into random men; but for that reason, you simply say "mikvah is open to men during the following hours, women the following hours." I know of many mikvahs (or mikvaot) today that still have this policy.

However, in many large towns, you'll indeed have separate mikvahs for men and women, for an entirely different reason: for women it's an obligation, for men it's a meritorious practice. In Frankfurt 150 years ago, an influx of Eastern European men started using the mikvah, which made it messier and less accessible for some women. (I've heard it independently from two mikvah attendants: "men trash the mikvah.") Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch ruled (quoted in Shemesh Marpe p. 23 quoted in his Artscroll biography) that if one woman misses an obligatory immersion because of all these men trying to be meritorious, it's wrong. Regarding a similar situation in Detroit several decades ago, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein ruled (Igrot Mosheh, Yoreh De'ah 2:90) that all it takes is one woman to say "having men use this mikvah is making it difficult for me" to throw the men out. Thus, separate mikvahs today.

  • Thanks for your answer. In Paris, there is no such mikve and I know one which reserves a specific pool for the women and if a man goes there, they change the water...
    – allced
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 13:21
  • do you have a reference for Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's answer ? This reason is more logical. I heard a Rav saying that he doesn't go in a mikve for women because if it's known, women will be disgussed to go there.
    – allced
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 13:25
  • @allced, judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/13075/…
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 14:30

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