What are the earliest sources referencing the custom of groom to immersing himself in a mikveh before his wedding?

This custom is referenced in Kitzur Yalkut Yosef (nisu'in v'shidduchin: 3:11):

יש חתנים שנוהגים לטבול במקוה ביום החתונה, והוא מנהג טוב והגון. אך אין בזה חיוב, שבזמן הזה אין חיוב על פי ההלכה על האנשים לטבול כלל.

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    "Ritualarium?" - Sep 8, 2015 at 23:23
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt "Mikvah" in Hebrew. See eg en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ritualarium&redirect=no
    – Double AA
    Sep 8, 2015 at 23:25
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    I assume that the custom is related to the notion that the day of the wedding is like Yom Kippur for both the bride and groom. It is customary that men immerse in a mikvah before Yom Kippur.
    – DanF
    Sep 9, 2015 at 0:01
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    @DanF incidentally, the day of the wedding being like Yom Kippur is itself an idea that is researchable. Although there is a relatively early Ashkenazi custom for a groom to fast before his wedding, some Rishonim did not connect this to any forgiveness taking place then, but instead to the fact that we fast whenever we do mitzvos (!) (Those Chassidei Ashkenaz...). The earliest source I know for the idea of a groom being forgiven is in the Midrash Shmuel cited by Rashi. This Midrash appears to be late Geonic. Outside of this citation by Rashi I am not sure that this idea was raised much.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 9, 2015 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


Nitei Gavriel Nisuin1 9:7:11 quotes this Minhag in the name of Chupas Chasanim 6:1 (appx year 1800), Yalkut Mai'am Lo'aiz Devarim 22:12 (appx year 1700), Taamei Hamitzvos L'Rikanti (appx year 1300) - Mitzva 226

  • Chupas Chasanim?
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 9, 2015 at 2:02
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    +1 Dating these works would improve the answer. The question asks for earliest sources after all.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 9, 2015 at 2:03
  • @mevaqesh Chupas Chasanim is a work on taharas hamishpacha popular in some Sephardi and Chassidish circles. Written around 1800 by Chacham Raphael Meldola of London's Spanish-Portuguese congregation, a musmach of the Chida.
    – Shalom
    Sep 9, 2015 at 13:40
  • Recanati is around the year 1300 (though kabbalistic). It appears not to have been popularized until much later.
    – Shalom
    Sep 9, 2015 at 13:42

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