May one dry himself with a towel on shabbos after using the mikvah? If not, why not? If yes, why?

  • Is the question specific to mikva?
    – MTL
    Sep 5, 2014 at 17:18
  • 4
    Do you have any reason to suspect it is a problem? Please include such motivation in the question by editing
    – Double AA
    Sep 5, 2014 at 17:44
  • Are you asking about hair? With hair, although it's not sechita (hair is more similar to synthetic than real material, an actual hair strand can't absorb), it apears like sechita, so there's a problem, so you dry it gently without squeezing.
    – user613
    Sep 6, 2014 at 14:33

2 Answers 2


According to Rama 302:10, you may clean yourself with a towel, based on Derech Lichluch:

This based on another concept called “derech lichluch”, which means that the water is applied in a dirtying manner. When drying hands on a towel, the towel does not become cleaner; on the contrary, it gets dirty. So even though water is coming in contact with the towel, since it is not cleaning the towel, it is permitted. The same rule applies to wiping up spilled water on the floor: even though the water is being absorbed into the towel, since it is done in a “dirtying manner”, it is permitted

Quote obtained from Footnote 8, here


As discussed here a major issue is using the towel to dry hair, with opinions ranging from permitted (as long as the towel absorbs the water completely) to completely forbidden, with the in-between view of allowing gentle patting.

The Vilna Gaon would not go to the Mikvah at all on Shabbos to avoid this problem, even though he would generally go during the week.

I've heard of some Chassidim (of those groups that originate on Poland) not drying with a towel after the Mikvah not because of Shabbos, but because they wanted to recognize the preciousness of the water, so you may have seen that, but I don't think there is any Halachic concern that motivates that practice.

  • 1
    I dont think everyone holds of Schita by hair (if thats what you refer to; I havent read your link yet)
    – Double AA
    Sep 5, 2014 at 17:43
  • @DoubleAA read my comment on the question, it's related to your comment.
    – user613
    Sep 6, 2014 at 14:34
  • @user613 Ok. I still stand by my assertion that not everyone thinks it's a problem.
    – Double AA
    Sep 15, 2014 at 15:34
  • @DoubleAA source? Because I'm interested in this
    – user613
    Sep 15, 2014 at 20:20
  • @user613 Consider hebrewbooks.org/… It's really not even that clear what the Beit Yosef held. See footnote 60.
    – Double AA
    Sep 16, 2014 at 4:31

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