If someone is a baal keri [they had a seminal emission], and they clean themselves, they remain contaminated until evening (Lev 15:16). What does that entail? Does being contaminated until evening mean they can't go to work without the fear of contaminating others?

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    – mbloch
    May 31, 2016 at 10:22
  • When you write "immediatly cleaning themselves" do you mean immersing in a mikve? Or cleaning in the modern sense of the word? Some answers below assume you mean immersing in a mikve (ritual bath)
    – mbloch
    May 31, 2016 at 19:19
  • I'm really not sure what I originally meant - I mean, I guess I'm just searching how a person, in today's era, is supposed to de-contaminate himself after an emission: because the Torah says that anything he touches becomes contaminated.
    – Romaion
    May 31, 2016 at 23:42
  • @Romaion Different impurities and different objects have different ways of becoming pure, and also have different ways they transmit impurity to other objects. Consider learning en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tohorot
    – Double AA
    Jun 1, 2016 at 2:12

2 Answers 2


After immersion from a first-order impurity, a person or vessel remains somewhat impure until sundown (called "Tevul Yom"). (Rambam, Shar Avot HaTumah 10:1)

A Tevul Yom who touched Terumah renders it third-order impure, and if they touch Temple sacrifices they render them fourth-order impure (ibid. :3). A Tevul Yom does not affect people, vessels, standard food (Rambam, Tumat Ochlin 7:7), second-tithe food (Rambam, Mishkav uMoshav 5:6), or ashes of the Red Heifer (Rambam, Parah 1:13).

Additionally, unlike other impurities, body fluids of a Tevul Yom are pure (Rambam, Avot HaTumah, 10:6). A Tevul Yom is prohibited rabbinically from entering even the outer parts of the Temple, but they may go on the Temple mount (Rambam, Biat Mikdash 3:6). A Kohein who is a Tevul Yom is still fully prohibited from serving in the Temple (ibid. 4:4).


Even in Temple times, from immersion until nightfall their status is called tvul yom. They're just ever-so-slightly "impure" enough that they can't touch holy food such as terumah or sacrifices, but touching people wouldn't do anything.

Today this is all pretty much a moot point anyhow, and the best practice (halachically and psychologically) is to get back to a normal routine right away.


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