*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Jumping into a Mikveh
Is there any issue with jumping into a Mikveh? I saw a young teenager jump into the Mikveh water, and an older man who was there told him that if he does so that his immersion is invalid, as one is not allowed to jump into the water. While as a certified lifeguard, I certainly agree with the concept that one may not jump into a shallow body of water due to medical danger, I have never heard that doing so invalidates one’s immersion. Is this correct?
It is not accurate to say that the immersion is invalid. Furthermore, according to the vast majority of Poskim, even initially it is permitted for one to jump into the Mikveh. Nonetheless, according to some Poskim, it is initially discouraged for one to jump into a Mikveh, although doing so does not invalidate the immersion. Practically, certainly there is a medical risk involved as you mentioned and hence due to this reason it is to be prohibited from being done in order to prevent serious potential bodily injury. However, when using a swimming pool as a Mikveh, there is no issue involved in jumping into the water.
The Rambam in Hilchos Mikvaos records from the Tosefta in Miseches Mikvaos that a person who jumps into the mikvah is performing a disparaging act. While the sources do not explain the reason for this negation, we find two explanations in the commentaries. One explanation is because when people see him jumping into the Mikveh they will think he is doing so for fun, such as to go swimming and cool off his body, and not in order to purify himself. Another explanation is that this refers to a Mikveh that only contains the exact measurement of 40 Seah, and hence one should not jump inside of it as doing so can cause some of the water to exit before one immerses which would make his immersion invalid due to it lacking the minimum amount of water necessary for immersion. According to the second opinion, there is no issue with jumping into a Mikveh that contains much more than 40 Seah, as exist by all Mikvas of today. Practically, the Shulchan Aruch rules like the second opinion, and hence there is no halachic issue with jumping into a Mikveh today. Nonetheless, certainly there is a medical risk involved as you mentioned and hence due to this reason it is to be prohibited from being done in order to prevent serious potential bodily injury. In addition, by being stringent in this one ends of following all opinions, as there are some opinions who suspect for the first explanation. However, when using a swimming pool as a Mikveh, there is no issue involved in jumping into the water. [To note, that if one were to argue that one should be stringent by the first explanation to never jump into the water, then he also must be stringent like the second ruling brought in the above sources which states that one who immerses more than one time into the water is performing a disparaging act, and no one today is accustomed to be particular to immerse only one time and then leave.]
Sources: See Tosefta Mikvaos 5:10; Rambam Mikvaos 1:9; Rosh Nidda 5:21; Kesef Mishneh ibid; Rivash 293; Rabbeinu Shimshon Mikvaos 7:6; Tur 201:62; Beis Yosef and Bach on Tur ibid; Michaber Y.D. 198:29; 201:62; Shach Y.D. 198:39; Derisha 198; Rokeiach 133; Rashal 197; Poskim who rule like first explanation that issue with jumping is by all Mikvaos: Beis Yosef and Kesef Mishneh ibid and Shach ibid in name of Rivash ibid in opinion of Rambam; Poskim who rule like second explanation that issue is only with Mikveh of 40 Seah: Michaber Y.D. 198:29; 201:62; Tur 201:62; Rosh ibid; Rivash ibid; Bach ibid