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Using Pool as Mikva

On erev shabbos, or anytime, is it acceptable to use a swimming pool as a mikvah?


It is preferable to immerse in a rabbinically approved mikva; however, when such a mikva is not available, or under extenuating circumstances, is it acceptable to use a swimming pool as a mikvah.

This answer is specifically for men, for whom immersion is only a “custom.” Women must always immerse only in a rabbinically approved mikva.

Sources: See Rash (Hilchos Mikvaos 12), Shulchan Aruch and Rama (YD 201:48); even Noda Biyehuda, who is the strictest concerning this issue, concedes that where the piping is attached to the house &/or the ground the pool is a kosher mikvah, because it is made to be attached in this way (see Iggros Moshe, vol. 4, YD 17, concerning swimming pools). Only water that is drawn via a vessel, such as a pail or tank, would render the pool invalid. However, even water drawn through pipes can be sheuvim, and several poskim have noted the filter attached to a swimming pool can be probelmatic in causing the water to be sheuvim (see Iggros Moshe, vol. 1, YD 110).

Yet, even if the water is drawn (she’uvim), many authorities write that the pool is acceptable for tevilas keri. For the “extra kedusha” of Erev Shabbos there is some debate over whether it is suitable. See Shaarei Mikvaos (29:10), and see Chelkas Yaakov (118) who writes that the mikvah is valid for tevilas keri, an opinion also found in Shevet Halevi (4:117); Shraga Hameir (vol. 4, 44); Torah Lishmah (375). However, the filter might cause the water to be zochalin, which some poskim consider unsuitable even for tevilas Ezra (see Zichron Yehuda 2:61; Machazeh Avraham 1:13; Be’er Moshe 5:21; . Minchas Yitzchak 3:64; Shraga Hameir 3:57; Vayaan Yosef vol. 1, 46:2). According to Iggros Moshe (ibid), the filter does not cause a problem of zochalim.

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  1. You wrote:
    According to Iggros Moshe (ibid), the filter does not cause a problem of zochalim.
    Please examine there again (s.v. U’mitzad), where it seems that the above statement is not entirely accurate.

    While he starts by saying that “yoser noteh” that the filter does not cause a problem of zochalim, It appears there that Reb Moshe Feinstein was not 100% sure of this, and he entertains the notion that perhaps there would be a problem of zochalin. He concludes by saying that it would be a worthy idea to shut the filter before immersing in the pool.

    See there also that he also qualifies this statement, that according to the Rambam’s position on “nosan se’ah ve’notal se’ah be’sheuvun” the mikvah would be disqualified. He notes that the Shach endorses the stringent position of the Rambam.

    1. Thank you for the comment. You are right that Rav Moshe does only states his “leaning towards” the filter not causing a problem of zochalim, and does not decide the matter, such that wherever possible it is better to turn off the filter before entering the pool.

  2. Most pools are filled with fire trucks and hoses from same especially in rural areas.

    How do you promote using a pool without first validating its water source, which goes back many years.

    isn’t it just wiser to promote going to a community mikvah as opposed to sanctioning this type of non conformity. Halachah or custom no difference in my mind. a mikveh should be the first choice. This concept is not stressed in any discussions, only as aside to the conversation where the incentive should be to build a mikveh if there is non around.

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