How many times does a ger tovel (immerse) when converting? I know that a ger immerses first then makes the bracha (can't make the bracha yet until the person becomes a Jew). Does the ger then immerse again after this a second time? If so why/what is the source for this?

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    Do you have any reason to suspect that they do dip a second time? Otherwise this is a pretty weak question. You could just as easily ask if they dip a third time, and if yes what is the source for it. – Double AA Nov 2 '12 at 13:09
  • @DoubleAA I had thought because of the fact that they are unable to make the bracha before and must make it only after they become Jewish that to have some advantage that the bracha is made "before" the tevillah to then dip again. I've heard by some cases they have the ger tovel 3 times (as pointed out below) for this I couldn't think of any reason. However sources are still needed. And on the contrary if you can provide a source that they FOR SURE make only one tevillah then I'd be very happy... – Yehoshua Nov 3 '12 at 16:27
  • My only proof is the Shulchan Aruch's not mentioning a second dip in the mikvah (see YD 268:2). I don't even understand why you would think he would have mentioned explicitly that you don't need a second dip. The Gemara is very clear that this bracha is the exception to the rule of oveir la'asiyatan so why should he dip again? – Double AA Nov 4 '12 at 16:57

See Shulchan Aruch Horav Hilchos Yom Kippur 606,12 (in the name of the Maharil-Mogein Avrohom) that the reason for Tevilah on Erev Yom Kippur is for Teshuvah like a Ger and therefore one needs to dip 3 times like a Ger does.

  • This is a great mareh makom! So great I think I'm going to accept it as an answer. This is the best source that has been found so far. However, the M"A doesn't mention at all the fact that this is like a Ger -- only the point of Teshuva. Where is the SA HaRav getting the point of Ger from? (I still need to look into the Maharil itself.) – Yehoshua Mar 28 '13 at 12:03

A convert actually immerses three times, according to Rabbi Maurice Lamm here:

There is one exception to this general practice of placing the blessing before the mitzvah--the immersion of a convert. The convert needs to recite the blessing after the immersion, not before. The reason is simple: One cannot declare "God commanded us" if one is not commanded by God because he or she is not Jewish. The convert becomes a Jew only after the immersion is completed.

After the blessing, the convert immerses twice more and then leaves the mikveh.

A second blessing is required by most, but not all, authorities. It is called she'hecheyanu, and with it a person thanks God that He has enabled him to live to experience the greatness of this moment.

I don't know his sources, but I know that this is the practice in my local community.

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    I had heard in the past everything -- 1 time, 2 times, and 3 times. That's why I was asking to begin with. Perhaps it would be possible to contact R' Lamm and ask him for his sources on this. – Yehoshua Nov 3 '12 at 16:26

I converted to Judaism on Sept 5, 2012 (Conservative). We did three immersions as described in the above post. All my studies say the same thing. This was in Chicago. Hope this helps.

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    Thanks for sharing your experience, and welcome to Mi Yodeya! If you can share any more about this (which rabbi required the triple immersion? did he explain why?), it'd improve your answer. – msh210 Mar 24 '13 at 8:15

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