This article “let single women immerse in mikvah” discusses whether all Israeli mikvahs should allow ANY woman, regardless of marital status, to immerse herself in the holy waters. This all came about because of a divorcee being require to show proof of marriage in order to use the mikvah. One can only assume she had her own reasons for wanting to go – let’s not judge her. (Read the article for more details on the mikvah issue)
Now, we have discussed mikvah many times on this blog and it’s always a lively discussion. I have never been asked to show proof of marriage or Jewishness when going to the mikvah. I know there are some who have, and I find that abhorrent.
If a woman wishes to purify herself – whatever her reasons – shouldn’t she be allowed to do so without having to face an inquisition? But then again, if there is a blanket permission for any woman to use the mikvah, are the rabbis condoning its use by single women who are engaging in premarital sex?
I know many women – not necessarily Orthodox – use the mikvah for commemoration of lifecycle events. Once they have been healed from sickness, after the death of a parent etc. Truly, going to the mikvah after my recent surgery was a deeper spiritual experience than usual.
What do you think? Is it ok to be asked for proof of marriage when entering the mikvah? Or is it out of line?