As a mikveh lady on Friday nights and holidays I’ve already gotten used to there being exceptionally special days in our calendar, when coming to the shift at the mikveh is more challenging than on just another “ordinary” Friday night. The best example is Seder night, but there’s also Rosh Hashanah, or when Shabbat and a holiday come out one after the other, or the Friday night when we celebrated Purim on Friday. I thought I had already seen it all. And lo and behold, the calendar challenged me with yet another special day! A shift that comes towards the end of the 10th of Tevet fast day that came out on a Friday, so after having fasted while preparing for Shabbat, which in itself has its difficulties, I arrived for my shift before the end of the fast. Although the fast went out about half an hour later and we could have made Kiddush and broken the fast, we were not going to delay the Ashkenazi women who had been waiting outside patiently for their time to go in, while the Sefardi women who dunk earlier on Friday nights went in already… Thank G-d it was an especially busy evening so we did not mind waiting to make Kiddush and break the fast with our families once we got home. Fortunately, this is the only fast that can come out on a Friday and that too is quite rare!

Asara b’Tevet is the only fast about which it says “on that very day” and therefore even if it would come out on Shabbat it would not be postponed (fortunately in our fixed calendar it cannot come out on Shabbat) but also Friday is quite challenging. The same way the woman should dunk on the day she needs to and not postpone it.

So to all of you who need to come to the mikveh on such challenging opportunities, good luck with the preparations and don’t hesitate to come, we are there for you with a smile behind our masks! 😀


Read more about mikveh and Asara B’tevet and it’s importance in the public discourse here.