By: Jodi Wachspress, Couples and Sex Therapist
There are unlimited articles, blogs, teshuvot etc. addressing a woman’s experiences relating to mikveh in general and to the specifics of preparing for immersion. Many of the couples that I have seen in therapy and have taught before and after marriage, have noted that there is no such preparation guide/list for men…
Use this list to enhance your joint experience of mikveh night, or as a springboard for discussion between you to find a list that works in your relationship:
MIKVEH DAY/NIGHT CHECKLIST:
Chatzitzot – Barriers
In preparation for immersing in the mikveh, a woman is required to scan her body and remove any chatzitzot (external barriers) such as makeup, jewelry, stray hairs, and so on to ensure that all of her body comes in contact with the waters of the mikveh at the time of tevilla (immersion). To do so, she is instructed to clean herself thoroughly including folds and orifices. Not only does this process invite a woman to take time to unwind and refocus on her relationship with her body physically and emotionally, it ensures that she is clean from head to toe.
While your wife is busy with her mikveh preparations you can:
- shower: wash yourself well with soap and shampoo
- shave or groom your beard, hair etc.
- brush your teeth/floss (make sure you have fresh and clean breath)
- trim your nails (both finger and toe)
- apply aftershave or cologne (if you both enjoy the smell)
- dress nicely and comfortably (in whatever way you and your wife find most appealing)
Iyun – inspection
Iyun or inspection of the body is an essential component of mikveh preparation.
In addition to checking one’s physical body for chatzizot, there is an added level of awareness that is stipulated. This gives you the opportunity to re-examine your body and bring intentionality to the awareness of your body’s health.