5

I'm considering remodeling my spare bathroom into a mikveh. I can redirect rainwater via gutters through the bathroom window to a 'bor'.

I can't dig through the floor to create a pit, naturally, though I CAN make a symbolic hole in the floor to touch ground in the crawlspace if necessary for a concrete post. Or do I even need that?

What distinguishes a valid 'pool' as a destination for rainwater versus a 'vessel' which would invalidate the rainwater? May the pool be entirely supported by the house floor, must it be sunken into the ground, or may it merely touch ground by some means? Must the pool be made of one entire material, such as concrete or ceramic, or may it (to reduce weight) be a lighter substance which is merely lined with caulked ceramic tile?

  • 1
    I always heard that Hilchos Mikvaos was a very complex area and best tackled by experts. There is a well laid-out version of the relevant Shulchan Oruch here. – Avrohom Yitzchok May 5 '16 at 18:10
  • Before I consult experts to design blueprints I need to know if what I'm wanting to do is even possible. – eternalsquire May 5 '16 at 18:45
  • 4
    I didn't mean "experts to design blueprints"; I meant halachic experts to define what is and what is not kosher in mikvah design! – Avrohom Yitzchok May 5 '16 at 20:04
  • 4
    This is a great question, but it is also a classic case of CYLOR. Be aware that nothing (nothing) on this site can be taken as psak. – Shimon bM Jan 31 '17 at 1:40
  • But can you get 40 seah (ca. 300 liters or 67 gallons I believe) of water in there? – mbloch May 27 '18 at 18:45
1

I. What distinguishes a valid 'pool' as a destination for rainwater versus a 'vessel' which would invalidate the rainwater?

If it is already defined as a vessel (from uncleanness point of view) before they fixed it to the ground. Anyway, if there was a hole great as a Bota bag-neck, or they did make afterward a hole (before filling with water), in the bottom, this is not a vessel because it can not be used as a container.

II. May the pool be entirely supported by the house floor?

Yes, if it is fixed, it is good enough.

III. must it be sunken into the ground?

No, the criterion is fixed or not fixed (sealed)

IV. or may it merely touch ground by some means?

Touching is not enough. We need to fix it e.g. by lime or cement

V. Must the pool be made of one entire material, such as concrete or ceramic?

No, the unique criterion is to be fixed and not be a vessel before fixing.

VI. or may it (to reduce weight) be a lighter substance which is merely lined with caulked ceramic tile?

No problem. The halacha tells anout wood


Sources: Gemara Baba Batra 65b:

Our Rabbis taught: 'If a man hollows out a pipe and then fixes it, water from it makes a mikweh unfit for use.

Mishna Para 5, 7:

A trough in a rock [in which water gathers from nearby spring], ... and it does not invalidate a mikvah [if water gathered in the rock trough and then flowed into a mikvah, that water is still considered undrawn, and thus valid for a mikvah, which must be filled with water which has never been drawn in order to be valid for ritual immersion and purification].

If a vessel was attached [to the ground] with plaster, we may fill [water for sanctification] with it, and we may sanctify [water] in it, and we may sprinkle from it, and it requires a 'tight-seal' [to protect its contents from impurity], and it invalidates a mikvah [if water flowed from it into a mikvah, it is considered to be drawn water and invalid].

If [it was punctured] from the side and stopped with a cloth, the water inside is valid, since they are encircled by vessel [note: this only works if the puncture is sufficiently elevated from the bottom]. [If] they made for it [around its rim] a crown of plaster [for the vessel attached to the ground] and the water [level] reached to there, it [the water] is invalid [for the ritual, since the crown is not considered a vessel]. 

[If] they made for it [around its rim] a crown of plaster [for the vessel attached to the ground] and the water [level] reached to there, it [the water] is invalid [for the ritual, since the crown is not considered a vessel]. If [the connection] is sufficiently strong such that lifting it [the crown] would cause the vessel to come with it, it is valid [since it is part of the vessel].


Halacha's book, the Shulchan Aruch. YD 201, 6 and 7.

0

It does not need to be in the ground or on the ground it can be part of the house that is connected to the ground and it can be made of parts

As we the case brought in the laws of a Mikva on the roof made of stones (usually now it is made or concrete since it sill last a long time(without leaks))

The problem with the vessel is that if a vessel was made to hold water it is forbidden to be used until a hole is made on the bottom (making it unusable as a vessel) but since it was once a vessel now it needs to me made into a building by cementing it to the ground

  • During construction of the rainwater tank, should I drill a 1/4 inch hole so that water may extremely slowly leak through the floor into the crawlspace? That way, it was original constructed to not be a vessel? – eternalsquire May 5 '16 at 23:38
  • @eternalsquire for Ashkenazim the minimum hole needs to be big enough to fit the index and middle finger and turn them (it is called shfurferes hanoid) I guess that for a water tank this amount will be enough (if the vessel was made to hold pomegranates the hole needs to be as big as a pomegranat), I do not understand why would you make it leak into the crawlspace – hazoriz May 5 '16 at 23:51
  • I'm a little confused. I know there are to be two square holes for kissing spaces between the bottom rainwater tank and the top immersion tank. I thought that the bottom rainwater tank had to be ruined as a vessel to be valid. That implies the tank has to have an intentional leak somewhere, right? Is it merely supposed to be a symbolic hole somewhere, and what location? – eternalsquire May 6 '16 at 2:12
  • If the hole in the bottom is too large, then the tank will leak too rapidly. Unless you intend to plug the hole with something permeable through which water would theorhetically seep, like cork or portland cement? – eternalsquire May 6 '16 at 2:24
  • @eternalsquire If it leaks it is not valid, if it is a vessel it is not valid, if it was a vessel an you destroyed it and made it into a Mikva (by using cement) to plug the whole and to connect it to the ground, then it is OK. The 2 wholes you are referring to are not nessisery they are there for practical reasons (you can use pure rain water and dip in it) – hazoriz May 6 '16 at 7:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .