Saturday, February 19, 2005

Is it OK to use a Mikvah as a healing tool for survivors of sexual violence?

1. Is it OK to use a Mikvah as a healing tool for survivors of sexual violence?

2. Do you think it would be helpful?

3. Would your rabbi understand and or approve?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to do this, but a friend of mine asked her orthodox rabbi who said that it's very forbidden for an unmarried woman to use the mikva. I don't want to do this anymore. I don't need to dip into some bath of water to cleanse myself, I am already pure and clean in my own right. I have been renewed.

February 19, 2005 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought unmarried women used the mikva right before Yom Kippur? I think this is B.S. If a woman would find this to be healing, then the woman should be able to do this.

I am not orthodox and don't ever plan to be. I wonder if the orthodox rabbi who your friend went to see was also a survivor of sexual abuse or of a rape if their view on this healing ritual would be different?

February 20, 2005 11:44 AM  
Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>it's very forbidden

I don't believe it is. I suggest you simply lie. Say you are married. Your sexual assault is no one's business.

Basically, many don't want single women using the mikveh as they don't want to promote single unmarried people having sex.

>I don't need to dip into some
>bath of water to cleanse myself,
>I am already pure and clean in
>my own right.

I agree 100%. On a personal level, I think these "healing" rituals are nonsense. But, if someone feels it will help them, why not?

The only person who is "dirty" is your abuser. I recommend a police report/civil suit as a real healing ritual to heal yourself, the community and the abuser (through punishment/exposure).

February 20, 2005 1:48 PM  
Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Basically, it's not forbidden, it's just discouraged.

May single women immerse?
April 29, 2003

If a woman is single, not divorced or widowed , but has never been married, is she obligated to perform the mitzvah of mikveh? If she is not necessarily obligated, is she permitted to perform this mitzvah? Thank you.

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your question.

The mikveh's sole role at present is to permit marital relations between husband and wife. Therefore, unmarried women generally do not perform this mitzvah. However, there is a widespread custom to immerse in the mikveh erev Yom Kippur as part of the process of atonement and spiritual purification. In some communities, single women may also use the mikveh at this time.

Technically, the laws of mikveh regulate all sexual relationships and are independent of marriage. But, since Judaism forbids such relationships outside of marriage, mikveh immersion for single women is strongly discouraged lest it foster promiscuity.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases.

February 20, 2005 1:52 PM  

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