I've seen men who are toivel daily or on Erev Shabbos for "tosefes kedusha" have different minhagim for how often they toivel. Some people make sure to fully dip 3 times and some have some other number patterns they follow (seven, forty etc). What are the different reasons for these numbers? Is there an agreed basic obligation?

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    or 613.........
    – sam
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 2:21
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    The halakhah is once. It may pay to dunk more than once just to maximize the odds that one dunk was complete and with nothing blocking the water. As for specific numbers -- 3 corresponds to the levels/aspects of the soul, and 7 is a symbol of completeness. So those are common customs. 40? That doesn't even sound practical. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 2:42
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    @MichaBerger "The halakhah is once." Is it? Since when is dipping for "tosefes kedusha" a matter of halakha at all? Once is obviously all that is needed for Tumah. But that wasn't the question. (Disclaimer: I have no idea what dipping for tosefes kedusha really means, but others apparently do or at least claim to.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 2:43
  • thought this question was for keiliem,the Ohr Zaruah held once but thats for keileim,and not sure what tosefes kedusha is. hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=16220&st=&pgnum=30
    – sam
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 2:59
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3 Answers 3


You should dip once, as the Rambam says in הלכות מקואות - פרק ראשון that somebody who dips more than once is behaving inappropriately.

The Kesef Mishne explains the reason: It looks like he's bathing or cooling down (or warming up or exercising, depending on your type of Mikve. My addition.) instead of purifying himself. As a result, people will think that Mikve - and touching items that require one to be purified - do not require concentration.

ט: הַכּוֹפֵת יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו וְיָשַׁב לוֹ בְּאַמַּת הַמַּיִם אִם נִכְנְסוּ מַיִם דֶּרֶךְ כֻּלּוֹ טָהוֹר. הַקּוֹפֵץ לְתוֹךְ הַמִּקְוֶה הֲרֵי זֶה מְגֻנֶּה. וְהַטּוֹבֵל פַּעֲמַיִם בַּמִּקְוֶה הֲרֵי זֶה מְגֻנֶּה. וְהָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ כְּבשׁ יָדְךָ עָלַי בַּמִּקְוֶה הֲרֵי זֶה מְגֻנֶּה:‏

כסף משנה הכופת ידיו ורגליו וכו'. תוספתא דמקואות רפ''ח. ונראה דהיינו לומר דהיכא דלא טבל כדרך גדילתו בודקין אותו ואם נכנסו המים בכל המקומות שהיה נכנס אילו טבל כדרך גדילתו עלתה לו טבילה ואם לאו לא עלתה לו טבילה: הקופץ לתוך המקוה וכו'. שם ספ''ה. וכתב הריב''ש בתשובה שרבינו מפרש מפני שהקופץ למקוה אף אם מתכוין לטבול הרואים סבורים שאינו מתכוין אלא להקר וכן הטובל פעמיים כיון שטבל כראוי למה חוזר וטובל יחשבו שאינו טובל אלא להקר ואם יגע בתרומה וקדשים יהיו סבורים דלא בעי כוונה עכ''ל.‏

So we see that even for Trumah and Kodshim - which require absolute purification in a Mikve - dipping once is all that is required.

Anybody who dips more than once will need to explain himself.

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    +1 nice to see you active again lately. But I think it's obvious the question is coming from a kabalistic, not halachik, viewpoint. But this is a source to be reckoned with.
    – user6591
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 14:05
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    The emphasis of the Rambam with this chapter is like he states in the first halacha. It relates to removing the state of tumah. As he brings in the halacha you quote, in regard to tumah, a single immersion is all that is required. The procedures outlined by the Ari z"l, the Ba'al Shem Tov and many others concerning multiple immersions are not dealing with tumah. They are in relation to kedusha which is a different category. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 15:05
  • רבי פנחס בן יאיר אומר, זריזות מביא לידי נקיות, ונקיות לידי טהרה, וטהרה לידי פרישות, ופרישות לידי קדושה, וקדושה לידי ענוה, וענוה לידי יראת חטא, ויראת חטא לידי רוח הקודש, ורוח הקודש לידי תחית המתים, ותחית המתים באה על ידי אליהו הנביא ז"ל Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 15:24
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    @YaacovDeane - the Mesilat Yesharim based his book on that saying - yet never mentions multiple dippings in the Mikve. (Actually going to the Mikve is mentioned 3 times by him - and never as a stepping stone to climb the ladder you mention.) Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 16:04
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    @YaacovDeane The Rambam is talking about what people will think when they see you. No one knows what your intentions are in a Mikva, so clearly the Rambam's concern applies always, independent of your intentions.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 17:05

Rabbi Isaac Yehuda Yechiel of Komarno suggests the following intention: he writes in his Shulchan HaTahor pg.172 in ha'arah 16 brings from the The Pri Eitz Chaim(Shaar Shabbas 84 and Shaar Hakavanos pg.73) the intention for the initial immersion is that water has the ability to extinguish. We should ask God that He allow the waters of the mikvah to extinguish the burning desires to do bad, the fire of the wrong passions. The water should dowse the flame of anger, of hatred.

By the second immersion, we should have in mind to accept fully the sweetness of Shabbos, the holiness of Shabbos, which the rebbe explains is the "mystery of the fire of God".

The first dip cleanses us, and removes the dross that we naturally pick up in the duration of the six days of the week. The second one purifies us, to enable us to be able to accept the Shabbos to the fullest extent...

This is talking about Erev Shabbas,however, regarding Shabbas morning he writes that one dip is sufficent.

Ha'arah 16:

enter image description here

enter image description here

See also Nitei Gavriel, hilchos Shabbos vol. 1, 35:9 and accompanying footnotes. (Again, can't find that particular volume on HebrewBooks)

  • I edited in the place I beileve you were refering to. I did not change what you wrote above ,but in the ha'arah he doesnt write exactly what you wrote but its a very similar idea,maybe the Pri Eitz Chaim goes more in depth like what you wrote.If you are not happy with changes ,please edit acc
    – sam
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 15:09
  • @sam It looks good; I'm glad you were able to find the source - I thought it was from the smaller Shulchan HaTahara not the actual Shulchan HaTahor . Although I'm not sure who to thank for providing the screenshot. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 19:47
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    @ShmuelBrown If you read what is in note 16 from Shulchan HaTahor, it says that on erev Shabbat the two immersions serve two functions. 1st immersion is to remove the aspect of Chol, like removing tumah. 2nd immersion is to acquire the kedusha of Shabbat. The single immersion on Shabbat morning is to acquire the higher level of kedusha of the day. And it emphasizes, not to remove the kedusha acquired from the tevilah of the night. In other words, with kedusha if it ascends, there is more than one immersion. And that is what is behind multiple immersions at one time. Ascent in kedusha. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 20:31
  • @YaacovDeane thanks for your clarifying remarks! R' Chaim Vital doesn't directly address the resultant requirement of tevilah (i.e. how many immersions) if one becomes keri or after tashmish; in such a case would he require more than one dip? I'm a little unclear as to what would be in that situation. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 20:43
  • @ShmuelBrown According to the note, the removal of the tumah from keri or tashmish would require a separate immersion. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 20:49

As mentioned above in Dannys answer, the Rambam says to dip once and more is a problem. However, recent acharonim recommend different amounts. Though I don't have a source on hand, I once saw a letter from R' Chaim Kanievsky (about 10 years ago) that says that one should go to the mikva every day, dip twice and when going on Fridays, he should dip 3 times. Once in honor of Shabbos. Its also written in the Sefer Haminhagim of Spinka, that the second Spinka Rebbe (Chakal Yitzchok) would say that dipping less than three times doesn't accomplish any Tosefes Kedusha.


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