Friday Night Mikvah

I think going to mikvah on a Friday night (or a Yom Tov night) has to be the most difficult night to go. Especially if you have young children. Especially if you have older children. Whether it is right or wrong (and we have had this discussion a time or two) we don’t really want our children knowing when we are going to mikvah, when we are Niddah, when we are not. It just is not modest and not something to share with children.

On Friday night the time to dunk is usually around the time the men start to daven maariv in shul. When one has little kids, and needs to go, from what I have learned, it is incumbent on the husband to stay home from shul and watch his children while his wife performs this mitzvah. It’s easy when the children are small to tell them mommy has to go help a friend. But what do you tell them when they are teens and they notice that their father is not in shul and won’t buy the “friend” story? Or they come home from shul and they notice that mommy isn’t there?

I have heard a time or two that many women push off mikvah if it falls on Friday night. They will just go Saturday night instead. This bothers me so much. Yes it’s annoying to have to make arrangements to go on a Friday night, but the annoyance is far outweighed by the joy of being able to reunite with one’s husband – and on Shabbat too, a double mitzvah.

So, help me help other women – what works for you for Friday night mikvah? How do you manage to get it done without the children being any the wiser? What about if you are staying at friends for Shabbat, or if you have a simcha, or company staying with you? How have you managed it then? Do you think it’s fair to the husband to push off mikvah for a night, just for convenience sake?

Edited to Add (thanks MG) – what do you do when the mikvah is not within walking distance?

(inspired by IR)

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  1. Holy Water says:

    90% of the times my wife goes to the mikva, it is Friday night. I think it is wrong to push it off, but I have offered her the chocie, especially on specific situations where it was very difficult (you would never believe it, but mikva night for her almost always falls otu friday night. The times it doesnt is usually because there is something even worse, like the night of Pesach Seder, and first night rosh hashana, etc).

    To her credit she does not believe in pushing ti off either, and has always refused.

    When you have teenage kids, the father can go to shul and the teenage daughter can watch them.

    Or a neighbor you are close with – they are very understanding, and will usually be happy to watch the kids if you drop an ambiguous hint why you need to disappear.

    Another option is the father can often take little kids to shul.

    One more thing, my wife sneaks out and disappears. When I come home from shul, they get annoyed “Where’s Mommy?”, and my answer is either I dont know, or she went to visit someone and will be back soon. They get annoyed, but eventually get over it. And even the teenagers dont know, because they dont know anything about the mikva, so it doesnt even enter their minds…

  2. shualah elisheva says:

    i am super.intrigued to read more responses to this blog post, hadassah. good questions!

  3. TRS says:

    Until you start going to the mikvah, it doesn’t occur to you that someone is going there. Most kids, even teenagers, probably don’t realize where their mother is when she slips out on Friday night. Every time I’ve gone to the mikvah on Friday night, the discussion in the waiting area has been “what did you tell your kids?” Almost everyone tells their kids that they have to help a friend with something. Think back to before you were married- did you ever think about mikvah? Or, you could do what my mother did – work at the mikvah. Then, you just tell the kids you have to go take someone to the mikvah, and we never never knew the difference.

  4. kisarita says:

    If the mikveh is not in walking distance you should be able to get some heter to open it for you in the daytime. YOu should, but you probably won’t, every one is too machmir nowadays.

    • Tzvi says:

      based on what should you?
      It is absolutely pointless to go to the mikvah before the seven days are up, which happens at nightfall.

  5. not now says:

    we have 8 kids and i have just always said that “ima has to go do a mitzva” and that has, bli ayin hara, always been enough.
    of course, we only have boys, so maybe that’s why…

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