From the Rav’s Desk: Immersing in a Mikveh on Friday afternoon for the sake of Shabbos if Friday is Yom Tov

  • Question: [Wednesday, 4th Sivan 5783]

I always immerse in a Mikveh on the afternoon of Erev Shabbos in preparation for Shabbos. Should one also do so in occurrences [such as this year’s Shavuos], when Yom Tov falls on Erev Shabbos, and hence one would be immersing on the afternoon of Yom Tov for the sake of Shabbos?



Although the widespread custom is not to be particular to immerse in a mikvah in the afternoon of Yom Tov which is Erev Shabbos, and some Chassidic Masters even negated doing so, nonetheless, based on the directive of the Rebbe Rashab, and celebrated Chabad Mashpi’im, one is to do so if possible. Certainly, it is proper for the management of the mikvah to make it available for people who desire to immerse in it on Friday afternoon, following the above directive.

Baal Keri: If one is a Baal Keri then he is to be particular to immerse on Yom Tov for the sake of purifying himself from his state of Keri and to enter Shabbos in a state of purity.

Saying that one is immersing for the sake of Shabbos: While there is no Halachic prohibition to immerse on Yom Tov for the sake of Shabbos, according to some opinions, one should not explicitly state that he is doing so for this reason, although from other opinions, it is evident that there is no issue with even stating this, and so is the implied ruling of Admur.


The Halachic issues: The act of immersion does not transgress the prohibition to prepare on Yom Tov for after Yom Tov, being that it is an action which one benefits from already on Yom Tov and appears simply like washing dirt off the body and cooling off in a body of water, and does not look like a preparation activity for after Shabbos. In fact, the Poskim state that it is for this reason that it is at all permitted for one to immerse in a Mikveh on Shabbos and is why doing so does not contain the prohibition of Tikkun Keli, as to the onlooker it simply seems like he is bathing the body. In essence, entering the Mikveh for after Shabbos purposes, is no different than one who sleeps or eats on Shabbos in order so he have strength after Shabbos, which is permitted to be done. This is explicitly ruled in the Mishneh Beitza which states that one who is impure is to immerse on Shabbos afternoon for the sake of Yom Tov. Nonetheless, some Poskim write that explicitly saying the purpose of the sleep, and that it is for the sake of after Shabbos is considered a belittlement of Shabbos and the same would seemingly apply to one who says the purpose of his immersion. However, it is clear from other Poskim, including Admur, that they are not worried of this issue, and that it is permitted to even make this statement. So can also be proven from the teaching of the Rebbe Rashab [brought below] that one should immerse in a mikvah on Yom Tov afternoon for the sake of Shabbos, and that there is no Halachic issue with preparing on Yom Tov for after Yom Tov regarding this matter.

The Chassidic custom outside Chabad: While some Hasidic Masters such as the Tzadik of Shinava were particular not to immerse on erev Shabbos when it coincided with Yom Tov being that doing so is considered a belittlement towards Yom Tov, others [i.e. Tzanz] would immerse, although some Hasidic Masters were particular to only immerse after nightfall [i.e. Satmar]

The Chabad custom: While the widespread Chabad custom of many is not to do so, the directive of some of the most illustrious Mashpi’im of Lubavitch, was for one to immerse on Erev Shabbos in preparation for Shabbos. This itself is based on a teaching of the Rebbe Rashab in one of his famed Hemsheichim in which he writes that whenever one goes from one level of holiness to another level of holiness, such as from the holiness of Yom Tov to the holiness of Shabbos, one needs to immerse in a Mikveh, in order to be incorporated in the higher level of nullification. From here it is clearly understood that when Yom Tov falls on Erev Shabbos, that one should immerse again on Yom Tov afternoon for the sake of Shabbos. Indeed, based on this it has been told that the renowned Mashpia Rav Shlomo Chaim Kesselman, would tell the students should immerse in a Mikveh on Friday afternoon which is Yom Tov. However, I inquired from one of his esteemed and close students, Harav Eliyahu Landa Shlita, as to whether he ever heard such a directive from Rav Shlomo Chaim Kesselman, and he stated that he does not recall ever hearing such a thing, and that on the contrary the custom always was when Yom Tov fell on Motzei Shabbos or vice versa to have in mind in the Shabbos morning immersion that it also counts for the Shabbos immersion, and to immerse only once in the morning and not immerse again later in the afternoon for Erev Shabbos.

Sources: Hemshech Samech Vav end of page 387 [p. 511 in new edition]; Hiskashrus;  See regarding immersing in the afternoon on Yom Tov on behalf of Shabbos and vice versa: Permitted: Beitza 17a [permitted]; Hemshech Samech Vav end of page 387 [p. 511 in new edition]; Erev Pesach Shechal Beshabbos 12 footnote 54 that from Beitza 17b it is proven that there is no issue with doing so and that indeed some are accustomed to do so; Not to do so: Imrei Pinchas 799; Divrei Yechezkal Hachadash in name of the Tzadik of Shinava that one should not do so due to it being a belittlement; Kaneh Bosem 3:22-24 is stringent; Other sources: Piskeiy Teshuvos 290:4 and footnote 26 and 444:12 and footnote 85 and 528:3 [permitted, and some do so, but don’t say it]; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 56:7-8 footnotes 13-14 for different customs and opinions; Rav Moshe Freund in Ateres Yehoshua p. 93 127-128 and Kisvei Kodesh Ateres Yehoshua  Michtav 21 and Mara Deshmaasisa 184 [that personally he and his father would not immerse in such a case as Shabbos does not cause impurity, however, those who want to do so may do so and there is no Halachic issue involved]; See regarding not saying that one is doing the action for after Shabbos: Admur 290:6; M”A 290; 307:1; Sefer Chassidim 266; Shaareiy Teshuvah 290; Elya Raba 307:1; P”M 290 M”Z; M”B 290:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 290:4; See regarding immersing after midday on Erev Shabbos: Mateh Efraim 625:14 in name of Shaar Hakavanos and Peri Eitz Chaim; Kanfei Yona 1:95; Mishnes Chassidim Yom Hashishi 7:1; Shlah p. 138a last line in name of Kanfei Yona; Likkutei Mahrich 2 p. 7b; See also Likkutei Dibburim 3:568; Chayeh Adam 138:5; Kaf Hachaim 581:82; Alef Lamagen 581:121; Likkutei Mahrich 2 p. 7b in name of Siddur Rav Shabsi

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