I know of some people who are particular not to go to the mikveh together with a close relative (father-son , brothers, and even brother-in-laws).

On the other hand I also have seen Chassidim and Yirei Shomayim who are not particular about this (including a father going in with his young son for Chinuch).

What are the issues involved here? AFAIK this a matter of halacha as I have seen the Remah in Shulchan Aruch (Aven HaEzer Ch 23 Halacha 6) referces this issue.


The gemoro in Pesachim 51A says that father, father-in-law, stepfather and brother-in-law (sister's husband) are forbidden, and that there are those who are machmir on brothers as well.

According to Rashi the issue is that it would lead one to impure thoughts, to see the place from where he or his wife were produced, or thoughts about his brother-in-law and sister or mother and stepfather together. For those who are stringent on brothers, it is not because it would lead to thoughts, but as a gezeira on brother-in-law.

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  • Is this gemorah l'halocha? Why do some follow it and some not? – Michoel Oct 10 '12 at 9:22
  • @Michoel I'm not sure, you'll have to look up the Shulchan Aruch the OP mentioned (I don't have it in front of me). The gemora implies it is lemaaseh apart from brothers and there's a reference to Rambam and Shulchan Aruch so I imagine it is. – limos Oct 10 '12 at 12:39
  • @Michoel The Rama in the question does seem to quote this din lehalacha. – Double AA Oct 11 '12 at 6:35
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    @Michoel Hmmm See Aruch Hashulchan Even Haezer 23:8 who notes that many are lenient and struggles to find an explanation. – Double AA Oct 11 '12 at 6:58
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    In the OP's question about a father with a young son, it could be that there is room to be lenient if the son is young enough not to understand these things – limos Oct 11 '12 at 9:03

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