According to Lubavitcher Rebbe, daily ritual immersion is a commendable practice, as a praying Jew is likened to the kohen who would always immerse before his avoda. Why do the women of those communities where men immerse daily not do so if they plan to pray?

Girls often have prayers at school on a scheduled daily basis (as opposed to married women). Does wanting to prevent self-justified extra-marital relations really have priority over this commendable practice?

  • The following is not an attempt to answer, just pointing out: do we normally find that a person should take on a hanhaga tova that they know they will have to stop? The Ramban says the chattas of a nazir is for stepping down from his loftier level. You seem to accept that married women won't be able to maintain this practice as conveniently. So it would be accepting a practice that is inherently temporary. Jan 29, 2014 at 20:31
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    Yes, really. [15]
    – Double AA
    Jan 29, 2014 at 22:54
  • a praying Jew is likened to the kohen who would always immerse before his avoda - Were there any priestesses in Judaism while the Temple was still standing ?
    – user18041
    May 28, 2020 at 15:09
  • @Lucian Jewish priestesses (which still exist) do not perform any temple service.
    – Adám
    May 28, 2020 at 15:11
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    @Lucian Ah, that's an interesting thought. Maybe only a male Jew is likened to the priest, and so the transferral of merit in immersion stops by non-priest males, and doesn't continue onto praying females. Thank you!
    – Adám
    May 28, 2020 at 17:19

3 Answers 3


The source of immersing before prayer or studying Torah was an enactment by Ezra for the purpose of limiting conjugal relations between a husband and wife by requiring immersion if they had a seminal emission during / after relations. The original enactment also applied to women and to involuntary emissions. It had nothing to do with ritual purity, but was solely for the above purpose, as the person may still be ritually impure after the immersion - for instance a woman who became niddah after relations and had a seminal emission is still niddah after immersing.

However the enactment was canceled in a later generation due to the peoples inability to keep it, and now immersion before prayer is simply a minhag that some men have taken upon themselves.

I would assume that women don't do it because there's no requirement for them to and why would they want to take on a minhag that's quite frankly so difficult, especially when it was originally canceled specifically because it was difficult?


This is my own thought. I would be very happy if someone finds a source that says this.

Perhaps the reason ladies do not go to the Mikva daily prior to praying is a combination of.

  1. There are times each month where she has Tumas Nidah and going to the Mikva then may lead to sin.

  2. Although ladies have a Chiyuv Tefila, at times ladies do not Daven the entire Tefila due to lack of time when raising children. They for sure do not have time to go to the Mikva on a daily basis.

  3. Regarding girls as per the answer here Do permanently unmarried women need to go to the mikvah? this would lead to improper relations.

Yes going to the Mikva daily is commendable if it does not lead to sin. However it is not even a Halachic requirement. Therefore ladies do not go on a daily basis to the Mikva.

  • Maybe going to the mikve would enhance the remaining prayers so much that it would outweigh additional parts having to be skipped because time was used to go to mikve?
    – Adám
    Jan 30, 2014 at 18:03

Women are no less obligated for tvillas ezra than men. If anything more so. It was originally meant more for women. This has nothing to do whatsoever with niddos so I cant understand how it comes into the conversation.

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    – Adám
    Jan 30, 2014 at 21:31
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    mishna tosfos yom tov end of third perek berachos.
    – k'byochel
    Jan 30, 2014 at 21:36
  • his wording. Because she will become tomai she wont be listening to her husband.
    – k'byochel
    Jan 30, 2014 at 21:42
  • since I cant comment further will comment here. A niddah going to mikva is not useless. see the mishna I quoted.
    – k'byochel
    Jan 30, 2014 at 21:48
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    @Arach I haven't seen that Tosfos YomTov but that sounds quite weird. Tevilas Ezra was instituted out of concern that Torah scholars would spend so much time with their wives that they wouldn't be able to study enough. (That's R' Aharon Lichtenstein's explanation, shlita; he's rejecting the asceticism approach.) That very much sounds like it's just for men.
    – Shalom
    Jan 31, 2014 at 13:35

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