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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q11.2.2 TOC Q11.2.4 >

Question 11.2.3:
Sex and Purity: What is a "mikveh"?


A mikva or mikveh is a place used for ritual immersions. A proper mikva contains a minimum of 40 SE'AH--about 191 U.S. gallons (Sorry, but you'll have to do your own metric conversion.) of undrawn water. In general, if there are more than 40 SE'AH, then the remainder of the water may come from any source.

"Undrawn" means not filled by bucket or by metal pipes.

Natural lakes, whether or not fed by streams or rivers, fall into the category of "undrawn waters." Many synagogues also provide indoor mikvas.

Additional information may be found in N. Lamm, A Hedge of Roses; and I. Klein, A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice (Chapter 37).

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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