There's an argument (In Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 200) if women say their Bracha in the Mikva itself. According to the Sefardim, they do it clothed (but can do it with water up until the neck), while according to the Rama, they do it after dipping.

There's a discussion about Liba Roeh es HaErva in the Nosei Keilim. But how is one allowed to say a Bracha in there at all? A Mikvah should have the law of a bathhouse, where one can't say a blessing at all!

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    "A Mikvah should have the law of a bathhouse, where one can't say a blessing at all!" Why? No one bathes there. They bathe in the showers in the antechamber.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 21:48
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    @Scimonster Any place one person is naked is a bathhouse? That's an extremely bizarre definition of bathhouse. The attendant for instance is usually in their clothed.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 21:50
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    @DoubleAA They don't? How long do you have to sit in a tub to make it a bathhouse? Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 23:52
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    @DoubleAA many of the rishonim connect the issue of saying names/berachos/Shema in a bathhouse to the pasuk of ולא יראה בך ערות דבר, meaning that they assume the prohibition to be connected to the fact that it's a place meant to be used by people who aren't dressed. However, there are poskim who understand the prohibition to be linked to the fact that bathhouses are places of washing off dirt, and so the water there is gross, or bathhouses are not places of respect (see Rashi to Bava Kama 86b). I'll try to detail all this in an answer later Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 6:08
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    @DoubleAA I think the dictionary definition of "bathhouse" and the OP's obviously having heard that one cannot say a blessing in a bathhouse are together sufficient to make this a reasonable question without demanding more of the OP in the form of getting his definitions and sources into the question post (which I guess is what you were trying to do). You can leave him alone: answers don't need to be in question posts, after all. :-) (I agree such sources and definitions would be nice in the Q. But we can simply ask for them in a comment instead of challenging the Q.)
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


The Kessef Mishneh (Hilkhot K'riat Sh'ma 3:3) quotes Rabbenu Manoah who cites an opinion that the reason not to make blessings in a bath house is because of the presence of naked people. Accordingly, in a ladies' mikveh, one should similarly not make a blessing. However, Rabbenu Manoah himself states that the reason not to make blessings is that the water is dirty given the usage of hot water, but in a mikveh that uses cold water there would be no problem.

Accordingly, R. Ovadya Yosef rules in Taharat HaBayit (Vol. II: 15:1) that the blessing should not be recited in modern day mikvaot, since the water is warm.

However, Rabbenu Manoah doesn't elaborate why exactly a mikveh would get so dirty form using hot water (perhaps they effectively cleanse the women of dirt?), and modern day mikvaot stay quite clean, in spite of hot water, so it seems likely that according to Rabbenu Manoah, it would be permissible to make a blessing in a mikveh.

Furthermore, R. Qafih (notes to Hilkhot K'riat Sh'ma there: 13) notes that Berakhot (3:5) discusses reciting sh'ma in a mikveh. He explains that immersion in a mikveh is brief, unlike a bathhouse in which naked people congregate.

Additionally, see Birkat Moshe by R. Aviad ben Shalom Ashual (11:9: pg. 366).


There is a Gemoro in Yumo 11a which says that a Mikva or where woman wash themselves which is used privately does not have a lot of pollution (i.e it is cleaned would require a Mezuza were it not for the fact that that the Braisa explicitly says not to put a mezuza.

Yumo 11a:

בית הכסא ובית הבורסקי ובית המרחץ ובית הטבילה ושהנשים נאותות בהן ומאי נאותות רוחצות פטורין מן המזוזה אי הכי היינו מרחץ אשמעינן מרחץ דרבים ואשמעינן מרחץ דיחיד דס"ד אמינא מרחץ דרבים דנפיש זוהמיה אבל מרחץ דיחיד דלא נפיש זוהמיה אימא ליחייב במזוזה

Rashi there explains why we don't put a Mezuza on a clean bathhouse/Mikva:

ומשום דמקום גנאי הוא שעומדות שם ערומות אין כבוד שמים להיות שם מזוזה

It is a place of disrespect since women stand there unclad, it is not respectful for heaven for a mezzuza to be permanently there (i.e the holy scripture is exposed to nakedness as it is inevitable they will bathe themselves)

A Brocho however is a temporary phrase of honouring Hashem and the circumstances can be arranged for the Brocho to be said without disrespect i.e clothed or underwater up to her neck as "Ein liba roah es Haerva" (obviously not in front of any other unclad women).

Mikvas are clean (In my town though i cannot speak on behalf of everyone), so there is no problem reciting a Brocho and if its a dirty mikva with faeces or urine or other materials that render a Brocho Pasul (see hilchos Makom Hatinofes SA OC 85). Worst case distance yourself 4 amos from the pool if you spot something...

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