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What is the Halachic definition of a Mikvah?
 
A Mikvah is a specialized bath that is used to submerge the entire body during ceremonial rituals of purification. There are a number of features that a Mikvah must possess:

• The pool must be connected to the ground.

• It must be possible to direct rain water and spring water into the pool.

• A Mikvah must feature a stairway leading into the pool’s waters.

• The pool should have a minimum volume of at least 40 se’ah of water (in accordance with the Halachic volume measurements found in the scriptures), which is equivalent to 200 gallons of water.

• The pool must be completely sealed and plastered to prevent leakage
 
 
What is Mikvah in the biblical sources?
 
According to our Sages, a Mikvah is any water that is collected in the ground. The earliest reference to this may be found in Genesis 1:10: “… and the gathering of waters, He called seas.”, and also (Leviticus 11:36): “But a spring or cistern gathering place (mikvah) of water shall be pure”.

A Mikvah is not kosher for immersion unless it has enough water to allow a person to fully immerse and completely cover his entire body. As mentioned in Leviticus 16:17: “He shall rinse all his flesh with water”.

In terms of size, the Mikvah should be one cubit by one cubit by three cubits. Our Sages estimated the size of a Mikvah to be 40 se'ah (Talmud, Eruvin, 4, 2). A se’ah is 24 logs, meaning a Mikvah’s measurements should be 960 logs.
 
 
What should you bring to the Mikvah?
 
• Towel

• Nail scissors

• Nail clippers

• Nail polish remover

• File or stone to remove rough and dry skin

• Standard comb and condensed comb

• Small mirror

• Bath sponges and clothes

• Soap

• Bottled fat-free shampoo
 
 
How should you prepare for your Tevila (immersion)?
 
• Remove rings, earrings and any other jewelry from your person, as well as contact lenses, false teeth and anything else that can be removed.

• Clip the nails on your hands and feet and clean them well.

• Cleanse your entire body, including concealed areas and bodily folds thoroughly.

• Wash your hair with warm water. Comb and separate all hair on your body.

• Remove any makeup from your face, lips and eyes, and remove polish from your nails.

• Brush your teeth with a toothbrush - make sure you remove any residue.

• Clean your nostrils, ears and navel.

• Thoroughly check yourself for any scabs, dirt or anything sticky and remove these.
 
 
What hygienic rules should be followed at the Mikvah?
 
In order to maintain hygiene in the Mikvahs, the following rules must be followed.

1. Mandatory Shower - entering the Mikvah is forbidden before washing oneself thoroughly in the shower with soap and water in order to remove sweat and dirt.
2. One must notice the clarity of the water – the bottom must be completely visible to the eye.

According to guidance of the Israel Ministry of Health; the bacterial, chemical and physical quality of the water in the Mikvah pool and cistern, during usage will be in adherence with the precise guidance in this matter.

What are the Israel Ministry of Health guidelines?

1.
a. In the pool, there should be no more than 10 Coliform germs in 100 ml of water.
b. In the pool, there should be no more than 2 germs from the Staphylococci aureus species in 100 ml of water during two consecutive minutes, and in any case no more than 5 in 100 ml of water.
c. In the pool, there should not be Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.
d. In the pool, there should not be any other pathogenic bacteria.

2.
a. The pool’s waters will be disinfected with either chloride or bromine, or another substance authorized by the manager.
b. The concentration of free chlorine left over in water that has been disinfected by chlorine will be between 0.8 milligram per liter (mpl) and 2.0 mpl, and in no case lower than 0.5 mpl or over 3.0 mpl.
c. In a pool disinfected with bromine, the free concentration of what is left over will be between 2.0 mpl and 4.0 mpl.