Mikvaos, Siman 201 Shiur 2 – 12/25/18


Shiur 2

1- We learned סעיף ב where the topic of using a river or  זוחלין as a Mikvah is discussed.

Image result for nile river

In theory at least, there is no issue in a river being considered a proper place for טבילה. Although the water is flowing, since the source of a river is from a ‘well’ or underground water, the fact that it is flowing is not a problem.

That is because ‘well water can be used even if flowing’.

מי מעיין מטהרין אף בזוחלין

The waters of a spring purify even if they are flowing. They don’t need to confined to one space ( זוחלין נמשכים והולכים ואינן מכונסים)the meaning of  זוחלין “flowing” is, continually flowing and moving and are not gathered together.  

2- Rainwater that is flowing cannot be used.

Image result for flowing rainwater

מי גשמים אין מטהרין אלא באשבורן

Rain water does not purify unless it is in an “ashboren”. It needs to be limited to one space   (פירוש מקום עמוק שמתכנסים בו המים ונקרא אשבורן) (that is, a deep place in which water can collect: called ashboren).

3- Thank you to Yankee Teitelbaum who sent this link showing a flash river from rainwater.


Water flowing from a flash flood due to a strong rainfall would not be כשר  to use.

4- So what is the issue with using a river? During the rain season or in the spring when the snow begins to melt the river size increases due to the rain water.

Image result for spring snowmelt mountain floods

So no we have a mixture; rain water with well water. Thus, when one uses the river is he  טובל in the original river/well water (no issue despite the water flowing, as above) or in the newly added rain water (which is not כשר unless it’s stationary in a מקוה).

The problem is if the rain water volume is greater than the original volume of the river.

Image result for river in flood

5- In short- the מחבר – Shulchan Aruch prohibits using a river during the rain season. The Rama says that the Minhag is in many places to use it if there is no other proper mikvah.   

The Rama:

אבל יש מתירים לטבול בנהרות כל השנה, אף בשעת הגשמים והפשרת שלגים ורבו הנוטפים על הזוחלין, משום דעיקר גידול הנהר הוא ממקום מקורו (טור בשם ר”ת וב”י בשם רש”י וסה”ת וסמ”ג); –

However, there are those that permit immersing in rivers all year long, even during the rainy season and the times when the snow is melting – and thus the majority is notfim rainwater rather than the flowing spring water, because the main part of the growth of a river is from its original source flowing from a spring. Even though it would ostensibly seem like the rainwater is causing the river to overflow or rise, it is nonetheless considered part of the river water.

וכן נהגו ברוב המקומות במקום שאין מקוה, – and so is the custom in the majority of places that do not have a mikvah to immerse in the river year round, even during the winter months,    ואין למחות ביד הנוהגין להקל כי יש להם על מי שיסמוכוand one should not object to those that have the custom to be lenient because they have whom to rely on. (מהרי”ק ובת”ה שם ומהרי”ו סימן ע’ וב”ז סימן קנ”ד).

Image result for russian with beard in icy river

5- We read the Sha”ch that quotes the Gemara that the increase in volume of a river during the rain season is primarily from the swelling groundwater. So basically, most of this new water volume is from well sources.

Image result for groundwater to river


Mikvaos, Siman 201 Shiur 1 – 12/18/18


Shiur 1 –Mikvaos, Siman 201

הלכות מקואות  יורה דעה רא

1- We began with the first סעיף.

אין האשה עולה מטומאתה ברחיצה במרחץ A woman does not leave her status of [ritual]  impurity through washing in a bath,    ואפילו עלו עליה כל מימות שבעולםeven if all of the waters in the world went over her,   עדיין היא בטומאתה she nonetheless remains in her status of impurity.    – וחייבים עליה כרת and one would be liable for Karet for [cohabiting with] her.   עד שתטבול כל גופה בבת אחת במי מקוה או מעיין שיש בהם ארבעים סאהuntil she immerses her entire body at once in the waters of a mikvah or a spring which contains 40 seah. (About 100 gallons) of water.

Image result for 100 gallons

100 gallon tank

We read the TAZ that says that for טבילת כלים in a מעין  even a drop of water is sufficient. Provided of course that the water covers the entire utensil.

עיינות ענר

2- We read the ש”ך who writes that the consensus is that the only time only a מעין will work is for a זב.

There are other opinion that a woman זבה also needs a מעין. But the Halachah is as the ש”ך writes.

3- We mentioned the Pupa Mikvah in Williamsburg as one that is actually connected to a מעין.

Image result for Well water


4- Surprisingly, the Alter Rebbe in Likutei Torah Bamidbar 42b writes:

וכן  לנדה וזבה טהרתן במים חיים דוקא וכן אמרו רז”ל מעין מטהר בכל שהוא

The Rebbe, in his notes published at the end of the LT,  points out that the AR’s explanation ,עפ”י חסידות , follows the opinion of the Zohar, many of the Geonim,  Rashi’s teachers and many others. 

5- We learned the Gra (6) and the interesting take about fish being able to swim underground into a river.

Image result for underground fish

This is from 1750 +- meaning that they had scientists tagging fish with ‘silver rings’ and finding them miles away!

Image result for tagged fish with rings

IY”H more on all the above in the following weeks.