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Someone just told me that he was taught that a man should not walk by a women's mikvah at night

Is this true?
Is there a source for this?

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    רב גידל הוה רגיל דהוה קא אזיל ויתיב אשערי דטבילה אמר להו הכי טבילו והכי טבילו אמרי ליה רבנן לא קא מסתפי מר מיצר הרע אמר להו דמיין באפאי כי קאקי חיורי ר' יוחנן הוה רגיל דהוה קא אזיל ויתיב אשערי דטבילה אמר כי סלקן בנות ישראל ואתיין מטבילה מסתכלן בי ונהוי להו זרעא דשפירי כוותי אמרי ליה רבנן לא קא מסתפי מר מעינא בישא אמר להו אנא מזרעא דיוסף קא אתינא דלא שלטא ביה עינא בישא – Alex Oct 7 '18 at 6:25
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DanF's answer is essentially true; a woman's Mikvah night is supposed to be as private as possible, and men walking by makes it less-private (as well as uncomfortable for the women involved). I'm just going to add a source that says explicitly that going to the Mikvah is supposed to be done in a discreet manner, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 162:10:

יש לאשה להיות צנועה בטבילתה להסתיר ליל טבילתה, ולא תלך בפני הבריות שלא ירגישו בה בני אדם, ומי שאינה עושה כן נאמר עליה ארור שוכב עם בהמה

A woman should be modest about her immersion, and conceal the date of her immersion. She should not go to the (mikvah) when people are about. [She should arrange it] so that people will not notice her. Concerning a woman who does not act modestly, it is said, "Cursed be he who lies with any kind of animal."

While one can argue that this is an obligation on the woman and not the man, it definitely shows that it's appropriate for men to not congregate around Mikvahs and make things difficult and uncomfortable for women.

  • +1 Should it also forbid woman from going near (congregating neat) the mikvah (when they are not using it)? – hazoriz Oct 7 '18 at 2:22
  • מִי שֶׁפָּגַע בְּאִשָּׁה יוֹצֵאת מִן הַטְּבִילָה, אִיכָּא לְמֵיחָשׁ, חָס וְשָלוֹם, לְתַקָּלָה. Ibid – hazoriz Oct 7 '18 at 2:24
  • @hazoriz In theory, yeah, women shouldn't know about other womens' Mikvah outings. Sometimes it's impossible to prevent interacting with other women, but it should also be avoided as much as possible. Howwever, I would say that the piece you are quoting is referring to men. – Salmononius2 Oct 7 '18 at 2:30
  • My first comment was on your conclusion "it definitely shows that it's appropriate for men to not congregate around Mikvahs" after that i found the source – hazoriz Oct 7 '18 at 2:32
  • Some Mikvaot have different entrances and exits to keep women bumping into each other to a minimum @hazoriz – Double AA Oct 7 '18 at 3:04
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It is definitely true! However, there is no direct source (i.e., one that specifically says, "A man should not walk by a women's Mikvah.") This is just a derivation of modesty and privacy. A woman attending the mikvah is meant to be absolutely private. If a man walks by a mikvah, he may recognize some woman going or leaving the place, and now, he knows private information about her menstrual / niddah schedule.

I can personally vouch for this rule from what I recall when my wife went to the mikvah. Besides, a huge sign in front of the door requesting that men not pass the mikvah at night (I noticed this sign during the day, BTW,) they also requested that men drop off and pick up their wives around the corner from the mikvah. They didn't want you waiting in your car by the mikvah.

  • Not just her menstrual schedule but whether or not she is pregnant, or even if she had a miscarriage. As well as if she is approaching (or in) menopause. Things that are a lot more private than the knowledge that most women menstruate once a month. – Cyn Oct 9 '18 at 18:11
  • @Cyn That's not exactly correct. Pregnant women don't menstruate, so they wouldn't be attending the mikvah. A miscarriage would not be apparent news just from watching someone you knew attend the mikvah. You would need to derive this info from other areas. – DanF Oct 10 '18 at 16:58
  • Exactly. If you know who goes to the mikvah you can make assumptions based on who is not going. And the miscarriage info would be if you knew someone was pregnant then saw her there long before she was due. You'd have to be a busy body to figure most of this out but it is possible. – Cyn Oct 11 '18 at 2:42

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