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Is it possible to remove the status of Niddah without a mikvah? I've heard from other people you can remove certain levels of impurity with a shower and possibly other ways (no sources though) so I was thinking there may be other alternatives for people who are Niddah and don't have access to a mikvah.

  • The shower is only good for a men's mikvah in a pinch – ezra Mar 22 '18 at 22:51
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    If, or to the extent that, this is a practical question for you, please note that answers on this site cannot and should not substitute for the answer your rabbi can give you, though they can inform you in preparation for your conversation with him. – msh210 Mar 22 '18 at 23:11
  • @ezra and not to make men actually tahor – Heshy Mar 22 '18 at 23:16
  • @Heshy Exactly. – ezra Mar 22 '18 at 23:19
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    @ezra that's not exactly what you said. It can be used "in a pinch" for takanas Ezra, but not to eat teruma or go to the bais hamikdash. The point is it's not a real mikvah at all, there are just some limited cases where the decree was to use a mikvah or in a pinch go in a shower. – Heshy Mar 22 '18 at 23:38
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Shulchan Arukh (YD 201:1) writes:

אין האשה עולה מטומאתה ברחיצה במרחץ ואפילו עלו עליה כל מימות שבעולם עדיין היא בטומאתה וחייבים עליה כרת עד שתטבול כל גופה בבת אחת במי מקוה או מעיין שיש בהם מ' סאה.

A women does not remove her Niddah impurity through washing in a bathhouse, even if all the waters in the world washed over her, she remains in her impurity and one is liable to Karet for [intercourse with] her, until she dips her entire body in a Mikvah or Maayan that has 40 s'ah volume [of water].

So there are two options: a Mikvah, which is a stable collection of undrawn water of minimum volume, or a Maayan (spring), which is flowing water connected to an active spring. You can think of these as two different kinds of Mikvaot which have slightly different construction considerations. Dipping in either fully removes Niddah impurity.

If a modern constructed Mikvah is not around, often a Maayan is, such as the ocean (which is connected to springs underneath it).

Be sure to speak to a rabbi for a ruling about any particular body of water as the details here can be quite complicated.

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    why would the ocean need to be connected to springs underneath it? Isn't the ocean itself a mikveh? – David Kenner Mar 23 '18 at 0:12
  • @david Being a Maayan means it can be used for a Zav or for Parah Adumah. Whether or not the ocean is Zokhalin is interesting but ultimately irrelevant. – Double AA Mar 23 '18 at 0:14
  • or a metzora, yes. But would the ocean count as being included in the spring category? I thought it does not, even if there is a spring connected to it. – David Kenner Mar 23 '18 at 0:27
  • @David the truth is an ocean is metaher bezokhalin but is not mayim Chayim. See Mikvaot 5:4 and Parah 8:8. The truth is also there are at least 6 levels of Mikvaot but this answer didn't need a detailed accounting of the subtle differences between them. The two primary categories as related to niddah are mikvah beashboren and Maayan bezokhalin – Double AA Mar 23 '18 at 1:13
  • Yes that's why I upvoted the answer anyway. For what the OP wants to know, the answer is fine. My suggested edit to improve the post would be: "If a modern constructed Mikvah is not around, often a natural one is, such as the ocean." True, no one today will usually need a spring. But the edit would clear up misleading info IMHO. – David Kenner Mar 23 '18 at 1:38

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