In our men’s mikvah, the brocha of tevila is on a wall above the mikvah. One who goes into the mikvah will inevitably expose himself (his erva) to the Shaim Elokeinu (written with a ‘hay’–i.e. a real Shaim of G-d) — (the 4 letter name of G-d is actually just written as a ‘hay’ with a slash above it) how is it/is it permissible to do this?

Thank you

Answer:

The Magen Avraham (Orach Chaim 45:2) writes that it is prohibited to stand naked in front of sefarim, a halachah he bases on a Gemara (Shabbos 120b) and and on the laws of mezuzah, and which certainly applies to the Name of Hashem.

Elokeinu is also considered a Name (see Bach, Yoreh De’ah 276, who uses a pasuk to base this assumption), and therefore the halachah will apply even to this Name.

Therefore, it appears wrong for the word to be hanging above the mikva. It is moreover strange to have the berachah hanging there, because men don’t make any berachah before entering the mikva.

If the berachah is to stay there, the letter vav can be added into the Elokeinu (meaning rewriting the berachah, and not changing and erasing the Name), which is the wrong spelling of the word; alternatively, the hey can be replaced with a kuf.

 

Tags: blessing mikva tevila

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