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Hilchos Kriyas Shema 88 (page 235)
מתחילת סימן פח עד אמצע סעיף א יש שכתבו

Tevilas Ezra
Days when Tevilas Ezra is Forbidden
An Alternative to Tevilas Ezra

Tevilas Ezra
Mid'oraisa, a ba'al keri is permitted to study Torah and daven while he is still tamei. Ezra mandated that he must first immerse in a pool of forty seah (an ancient measure) of water. The water can be 'drawn-water' and does not need to be rainwater. This immersion is known as tevilas Ezra. Over time this practice has diminished, but there are still many who preserve it. Today, when mikvaos are readily available, it is admirable to observe the takana. There is an opinion which holds that Ezra's tevila is still mandatory today. This tevila offers many benefits, including the acceptance of one's prayers and an enhanced ability to remember Torah and comprehend lofty thoughts.
( סעיף א וס"ק ג-ד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 1)
Days when tevilas Ezra is forbidden
Now that tevilas Ezra is generally considered voluntary, the poskim debate whether it is permitted on Shabbos or Yom Tov. The custom is to permit this tevila for people who became tamei on Shabbos or Yom Tov. This immersion is permitted during the Nine Days, although some poskim prohibit it for those who don't regularly immerse. This tevila is forbidden to all on Yom Kippur. This tevila does not override the requirement to recite Shema and Shemoneh Esrei before their deadlines, and tefilla b'tzibur likely takes precedence over this immersion as well.
( ס"ק ב; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 2, 4, 5 ו־7)
An alternative to tevilas Ezra
Someone who is unable to immerse for tevilas Ezra may pour nine kavim of water on his head. The water must be poured at one time, from no more than three containers, and it should cover a person's body from the head down while he stands straight with his hands loosely folded over his chest. It is not necessary for the water to cascade over every spot of his body. The poskim discuss whether a shower can be used for this purpose. Some poskim permit this under all circumstances, while others only permit it only if the water sprays from a single hole. Some poskim note that a person must already be standing in position before the shower is turned on.
( סעיף א וס"ק ד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 10-11)

  • A clay or wooden utensil designed to contain tzo'ah is called a graf, and this type of container for urine is called an abit. Both are considered to be saturated with waste even when they are clean, and distance from them is required before the recitation of a davar sh'bekedusha. Glass and metal do not absorb in the same way and are not forbidden when clean and odorless.
  • If waste matter that is forbidden mid'rabonon is behind a partition, it is permissible to recite a davar sh'bekedusha if the mechitza or other object is ten tefachim high and four tefachim wide and the waste is not visible to the speaker.
  • If a metal, wood or stone utensil absorbed issur (e.g. a meat and milk combination), it can be cleaned of the forbidden matter by dipping the utensil into boiling water, a form of kashering known as hagalah. This method does not work for pottery, glazed pottery, porcelain, and -- according to many poskim -- lead-coated pottery.

  • Is a woman required to daven when she is tamei?

  • The custom of some women not to go the cemetery

  • The custom of some women not to go to the cemetery when pregnant



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.