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Frequently Asked Questions
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My husband travels a lot for work. What if my husband is away on mikvah night?
One of the beautiful aspects of keeping the rhythm of this System of Family Living in your marital life is that you make your sacred marriage time a top priority. A woman always has 7 days notice. Mikvah night is a special date that is circled on your personal calendar, and moves to “top priority”. But, as I always say, “and then there is life”. Life happens. You or husband may need to travel for work, or a family emergency comes up. If you and your husband will be apart on Mikvah night, it is customary to wait and go to the mivkah the night of his arrival back home, or the night before. If it’s easier for you to go to the mikvah on a different night, you can go when it is best for you, and you will reunite when you are together again!
How do I manage to keep my marriage flourishing during the days that we are separated physically?
A marriage cannot survive on only 2/4 weeks of closeness. A healthy marriage is a balanced marriage. We need to exercise all of the “marriage muscles”, working on both the emotional and physical connection keeps our relationship strong and vibrant. During the time a woman is a niddah, the couple presses the pause button on the physical relationship, and during this time, we emphasize the friendship. Make sure to spend lots of quality time together. Go on dates, do activities together, go on walks, set aside 10 minutes daily to share about your day, use plenty of words of affirmation and appreciation, and do acts of service for one another. We often refer to the niddah time period as “emotional foreplay”. Attraction works inside out for most of us. After feeling connected as friends, it lifts up the physical relationship to a whole new level. Use this time well!
I was told that niddah means “dirty” or “second class” by my friends. Is this true
This is one of the most common myths out there. You’d be surprised to know that the word “niddah” actually has no translation, as it is simply a halachic (legal) status. It is derived from the root n.d.d. which means “separate” as this is the time when a couple separates (only in terms of physical intimacy!) from one another. It’s their time to be separate. Why? To become even closer after the process is complete. In order to create a WE, we need two very strong MEs and this is the time the couple takes to develop their individuality to prepare for their reunion into a WE once again.
This all sounds beautiful to me, but my husband will never agree to this. How can I do this?
In a mutually respectful marriage, each partner understands that their spouse has different desires, perspectives, and ideas. The beauty of marriage is that it holds two very different individuals in a safe space that makes room for both. I would openly express your desire to try this beautiful practice that was given to the Jewish woman for 4 months (cycles), so you can both experience its rhythm, and reap its benefits. After that time, you can check in with each other, and take it from there. It may also be helpful for him to learn more about it on his own. Always be respectful and join him in the difficulties he may be facing – they are real for him. Good things don’t come easily. Recognize the costs as well as the benefits, so he feels heard and understood.
I’m post-menopausal and have never been to the mikvah. Can I still go?
Absolutely! In fact, a woman who has never been to the mikvah is considered a niddah, and it would be a mitzvah for her to go through the five steps of the process, the last step being immersion in a mikvah. After this immersion, every touch, every physical interaction between the couple is transformed into a tremendous mitzvah (point of spiritual connection). It is truly an everlasting gift. In fact, you will find The Everlasting Gift workshop on our website, which guides the post-menopausal woman through everything she needs to know in order to go to the mikvah for the first and last time!
The closest mikvah is an hour’s drive. Can I just use my bathtub as a mikvah?
No. The construction of a kosher mikvah is a very complex process, as we are careful to adhere to all of the halachic specifications that apply to a woman’s mikvah. There is actually a lot of beautiful insight we learn from the details of the construction of a proper mikvah, for example, the water has to be from a natural source (i.e. rain water or a spring from below) and flow directly into the mikvah receptacle, not into another container that is then transported into the mikvah. The water needs to be in constant movement, not “sitting” in any container for any amount of time. This teaches us that in life, we are never stuck, life is constantly moving and changing, just like us, and therefore we always have HOPE. The very word mikvah shares the same root as Tikvah, which means hope. The message of the mikvah is a message of hope, of unlimited possibility, and endless opportunity!
My husband’s love language is physical touch. How will restraining for twelve days work for our marriage?
That is very common. A lot of men (and women!) feel that their primary love language is touch. Touch is so powerful, which is exactly why the Torah teaches us to reserve it for committed exclusive and trusted relationships! But it is not the ONLY language. It is so important that we weave all of the five love languages into our marriage, as every one of them are so important. We want to have a relationship that is balanced and strong. Sometimes when we rely solely on one muscle, the other ones start to atrophy. When a person has a lazy eye, they cover the strong eye so that the weaker one can get stronger with exercise. By putting the physical relationship on temporary hold for 12 days, the couple is forced to use and strengthen their words, their acts of service, their small gifts to on another, and spending quality time together. Now, after mivkah night, the couple reintroduces a powerful love language which brings all of it together – the marriage becomes stronger than ever before!