Chatzitza

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A chatzitza is a foreign object or even the body itself in an unnatural position that interposes between the body and the water. If a woman has a chatzitza on her body when she goes to the mikveh in order to purify herself the tevilah is ineffective.

General Laws of Chatzitza

  1. A woman needs to immerse completely in the mikveh at one time[1] without anything interposing between her body and the water of the mikveh[2], otherwise the immersion (tevilah) is invalid.
  2. Anything a woman doesn't want to remain on her body all the today is considered a chatzitza.[3]
  3. Even if currently she doesn't want it removed but at some later point she does it is still a chatzitza. If a majority of people would want to remove the item even if she doesn't want to remove it, it constitutes a chatzitza.[4]
  4. Additionally, something which the woman doesn't care about leaving but covers a majority of her body or hair[5] is considered a chatzitza.[6]
  5. According to Ashkenazim, initially a woman may not have any chatzitza even if it only covers a minority of the body and she doesn't care if it remains there.[7]
  6. After the fact, if a woman went to the mikveh wearing very loose clothing the tevilah is effective.[8]
  7. Mucus from the eye (rheum) is a chatzitza if it is outside of the eye or inside the eye and dried so that it started to turn green. However, if it is inside the eye and moist it isn't a chatzitza.[9]
  8. Ink, milk, honey, and blood aren't chatzitzot if they are moist but are chatzitzot if they are dry.[10] Blood that congealed is a chatzitza.[11]
    1. Some poskim hold that if the person doesn't want the liquid there then it is a chatzitza even though it is liquidy, however, there is what to rely upon to be lenient in extenuating circumstances.[12]

Positioning

  1. A woman shouldn’t stand up very straight or bend over too much.[13] She should lean slightly forward so that her breasts don’t lie against her chest.[14]
  2. She should stand with her legs apart like she’s kneading dough.[15]
  3. She should hold her arms apart from her body like a woman would when weaving standing or when walking.[16] She should also raise her hands like someone weaving. [17]
  4. If she bent over or stood straightly some rishonim hold that it is invalid and therefore she should go again.[18]
  5. A woman doesn’t need to open her mouth during tevilah. Yet she shouldn’t close her mouth too tightly, rather she should close her lips normally. If she closed her mouth or hands tightly or placed her hair in her mouth the tevilah is ineffective.[19]
  6. A woman shouldn’t close her eyes too tightly or open them too wide when she’s tovel.[20]
  7. If a woman needs support when going to the mikveh, someone may hold her. The best procedure is to have that other person or persons is 1) hold onto her with one hand out of the water 2) hold onto her with the other hand in the water, 3) adjust the hand that was outside the water to hold onto her under the water.[21]

Mikveh Lady

  1. A woman needs to have a mikveh lady to watch her as she goes into the mikveh to water that her hair completely went under the water. If it is at night or it is impossible to have someone watch her when she’s tovel she can loosely tie a string or cloth around her hair to ensure that all of the hair goes under the water.[22] If she didn’t have anyone watching her to see the hair go under the water or didn’t tie her hair loosely then her tevilah is invalid.[23]

Medical Circumstances

  1. If an item is going to remain on the body for a long time and won't be removed earlier under any circumstance some poskim hold that it isn't considered a chatzitza.[24] Poskim mention different times as to how long this has to be. Some say a half a year[25], some say say 30 days[26], some say 1 week[27], and some say that it doesn't depend on any fixed amount of time but as long as there is some definitive time that it'll remain there.[28] A rav should be consulted about any such case as poskim don't rely upon this factor alone.[29]
  2. A bandage or band-aid is a chatzitza.[30] Some say that it is a chatzitza even if it is a loose bandage.[31]
  3. Dissoluble stitches (absorbable sutures) according to some poskim aren't a chatzitza.[32] Others disagree and hold that they are a chatzitza.[33]
  4. Regular stitches are a chatzitza.[34]
  5. If a limb is hanging off the body it constitutes a chatzitza.[35]
  6. If a woman has an IUD inside it isn’t a chatzitza.[36] A rav should be consulted about this shaylah.

Eyes

  1. Contact lenses should be removed before tevilah. After the fact some poskim write that they aren't a chatzitza, while others hold they are. A rav should be consulted. [37] According to Sephardim, soft lenses that which she wears all the time when she sleeps and showers, and are only removed after a moth or a number of days, can be left in during tevilah.[38]
  2. If a woman has an eye ailment and for medical reasons can’t have it touch the water one solution that the poskim suggest is having another woman stand behind her when she goes to the mikveh and place her hand that was wetted beforehand over her eye not so tightly.[39] For this type of question a person should consult a doctor and rabbi.

Ears

  1. Many poskim are lenient about a gauze that the doctors say need to remain in the ear to avoid a serious medical complication. A rav should be consulted.[40]

Teeth

  1. Braces that can't be removed according to some poskim aren't a chatzitza, but according to many poskim they are a chatzitza if they are put in for aesthetic purposes and not if they are to prevent the teeth from falling out.[41]
  2. A permanent filling which is fitted correctly isn't a chatzitza.[42]
  3. A temporary filling is according to some poskim a chatzitza[43], according to some poskim, isn't a chatzitza[44], and according others if it is in for less than 28 days should be considered a chatzitza.[45]
  4. A silver or gold crown on a tooth isn't a chatzitza if it is temporary or permanent.[46]

Decorative Substances

  1. Jewelry such as necklaces, rings, and earrings are a chatztiza.[47] Some poskim hold that if it is loose after the fact it isn’t a chatzitza.[48]
  2. Makeup should be removed before tevilah. [49]
  3. Nail polish should be removed before tevilah. If it can't be removed the nail polish isn't a chatzitza unless it was only partially on the nail or cracked. [50]
  4. Artificial nails should be removed before tevilah. After the fact if she went to the mikveh with the artificial nails some poskim hold that the tevilah is effective.[51]

Skin

  1. A scab could potentially be a chatzitza and therefore if it is difficult to remove should be soaked in water so that they are softened.[52] If one has scabs that are difficult to remove one should consult a rabbi before going to the mikveh.
  2. Dry skin should be soaked and rubbed to remove any loose skin. Some say that women should not make it her practice to remove any hard skin with a pumice stone. [53]
  3. If a woman has a dye or a coloration on the skin such as if she was burned it isn't a chatzitza but if she could remove it she should.[54]

Hair

  1. Strings tied around the hair are a chatzitza unless they are loose.[55] However, strings tied into the hair braids are a chatzitza even if they are loose.[56]
  2. One hair tied onto another hair or itself is a chatzitza. Two or more hairs tied as though they were one string into a knot on themselves or onto another hair isn't a chatzitza.[57]
  3. Hair lice should be removed with hot water and scratching with a nail. However, if she can’t remove them they are not a chatzitza.[58]
  4. Some communities have a practice to cut their hair after their wedding. Even though the hair is going to be cut it isn't a chatzitza when they go to the mikveh before the wedding.[59]
  5. A woman who has dandruff should wash her hair and remove what is normal to remove before going to the mikveh.[60]
  6. A woman who usually shaves her legs before the mikveh and forgot, after the fact the tevilah is effective.[61]
  7. The practice nowadays is that married women don't shave their pubic hair and it isn't considered a chatzitza.[62]

Nails

  1. The minhag is to cut the nails before tevilah.[63] If she forgot to cut her nails before the tevilah she should cut them and go to the mikveh again[64] without a bracha.[65] If they were clean and she didn't realize until the next morning a rav should be consulted. [66] According to Sephardim, if she forgot to cut her nails and they were clean she doesn't need to go to the mikveh again.[67]
  2. If she cut her nails within the last 3 days that it is acceptable to be considered cut and not recognizable that they grew.[68]
  3. If there was dirt under a nail where the nail corresponds to the top of the finger it isn't considered a chatzitza, whereas if there's dirt on the top part of the nail which is beyond the finger it is a chatzitza.[69] Dough or mud beneath the nail is always a chatzitza.[70]
    1. If a woman's finger is bloated making it is impossible to cut or clean under the nails and because the finger is bloated the dirt isn't seen it isn't a chatzitza.[71]
  4. If she forgot to cut the toenails it isn't a chatzitza after the fact since women don't care about the look of their toenails as much as their fingernails.[72]
  5. If there's an ingrown toenail that the doctor has instructed that it grow out, it should be cleaned before going to the mikveh and it doesn't need to be cut.[73]
  6. A hangnail that is in its minority detached is a chatzitza but if it is in its majority detached it is a chatzitza.[74] The minhag is to do the tevilah again if she forgot to cut her nails and left a hangnail even if it was a majority detached.[75]
  7. Artificial nails should be removed but after the fact aren't a chatzitza.[76]

Feet

  1. If a woman’s feet are dirty it is a chatzitza unless the mikveh is warm or she rubs off the dirt.[77]
  2. Dirt stuck between her toes is a chatzitza.[78]
  3. A woman should not have to pick up her feet when she's in the mikveh if the floor of the mikveh is clean.[79]

Sources

  1. The Sifra (Emor 4:7) learns from Vayikra 22:6-7 that a woman needs to immerse completely in water at one time for tevilah. The Rambam (Mikvaot 1:7), Tur and Shulchan Aruch YD 198:1 codify this as halacha.
  2. The Mishna Mikvaot 9:1 discusses which items are an interposition between one's body and the mikveh. The Rambam (ad loc.) explains that an interposition is an issue between water needs to cover one's entire body directly. The source for this is the gemara Sukkah 6a which learns from Vayikra 14:9 that there can't be anything between the water and one's body. The gemara Eruvin 4a indicates that some of the laws of chatzitza are traditions from Sinai.
  3. Gemara Bava Kama 82a explains that a Biblical chatzitza is something that covers a majority of the body and she wants it removed. However, if it is something that covers a minority of her body but she wants removed or something that covers a majority of her body even if she doesn't want it removed is a chatzitza on a rabbinic level.
  4. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:1.
    • The Raavad in Baalei Hanefesh (Shaar Hatevilah ch. 2) writes that a ring or other jewelry is considered a chatzitza only because she takes it off when she kneads dough. The Rosh Mikvaot no. 25 and 26 quotes this idea. The Tur, Shulchan Aruch 198:1, and Taz 198:23 accept it as the halacha.
    • See, however, the Ran Chullin 73a who seems to disagree. See also the Avnei Nezer YD 267:3 who answers how it isn't a contradiction to the Ran Shavuot 7a who cites the opinion of the Raavad.
  5. The Rambam (Mikvaot 2:15) records a dispute he had with the Geonim whether the hair is judged as an independent part of the body for the purposes of considering a chatzitza. The Geonim held the hair is considered separate and the Rambam includes hair together with the body. Shulchan Aruch 198:5 is strict for the Geonim.
  6. Niddah 67b, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:1
  7. Rama 198:1 rules that initially a woman have not have any chatzitza even if it covers only a minority of the body and she doesn't care if it remains there. The Hagahot Shaarei Dura (which the Darkei Moshe 198:2 cites as the source for this halacha) writes that initially a woman shouldn't wear a netting that water could go through because of the case where the hat is thicker. The Sidrei Tahara 198:6 comments that the opinion of the Hagahot Shaarei Dura is more strict than the gemara but necessary should be followed. See also the Meiri (Bet Habechira Eruvin 4a) who preceded in Rama in his stringency and he explains (Chiddushim Eruvin 4a) that it is because usually people are concerned about every small chatzitza. Rav Ovadia Yosef in Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 5 rules that for Sephardim the opinion of the Rama on this matter isn't binding.
  8. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:46, Shach 198:56
  9. Gemara Niddah 67a, Tosfot Niddah 67a s.v. lifluf, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:7. See, however, the Rosh (Mikvaot no. 25) who holds moist mucus isn't a chatzitza even outside the eye.
  10. Tosefta Mikvaot 6:5, Rosh Mikvaot no. 26, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:15
  11. Rambam (Mikvaot 2:2) writes that blood that congealed on the skin is a chatzitza. Even though the Bet Yosef cites the Smag who argues with the Rambam, the Shulchan Aruch 198:16 rules like the Rambam. See Zevachim 35a which illustrates that moist blood isn't a chatzitza.
  12. Rama YD 198:14 is strict for the opinion of the Yereyim and Roke'ach that a liquid can also be a chatzitza if the person is makpid. However, the Tosfot Chullin 26b argues with the Yereyim. Chazon Ish YD 94:8 argues that the opinion of the Tosfot, Rabbenu Yonah, and Rambam disagree with the Yereyim and such is the strict halacha. Badei Hashulchan 198 is only lenient in a case of extenuating circumstances.
  13. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:35
  14. Chachmat Adam 121:8, The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 393
  15. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:35
  16. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:35
  17. Aruch Hashulchan 198:82, The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 393
  18. Shulchan Aruch 198:35 writes that some say that the tevilah is invalid if she stands up straight or bends over too much. The Rashbetz (quoted by Bet Yosef 198:35) cites a dispute between the Raavad and Rambam whether the tevilah is valid after the fact, the Raavad holding it isn’t and the Rambam holding it is. The Shach 198:49 questions why the Shulchan Aruch doesn’t write that it certainly is ineffective based on his opinion elsewhere. See Aruch Hashulchan 198:83 who addresses this question.
  19. Mishna Mikvaot 8:5, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:38
  20. Gemara Niddah 67a, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:39
  21. The Rambam (Mikvaot 2:12) holds that someone else holding onto a woman when she’s tovel only works if that person wet their hands first but using a loose grip is ineffective. The Rashba (Torat Habayit HaAruch 33a) argues that either if the hands were wet or loose the tevilah is effective. The Shulchan Aruch 198:28 holds like the Rambam.
    • The Shach 198:37 requires that the hands be wet with mikveh water like the Rama YD 120:2 requires for Tevilat Kelim. Lastly, the Taz 198:27 explains that there is a machloket between the Rambam and Rashba whether if the hands were wet in advance if the grasp isn’t so tight. According to the Rambam the tevilah is effective either way and according to the Rashba it is only effective if the grasp wasn’t so tight.
    • The Shach 120:36 writes that having someone else hold on to a woman when she’s in the mikveh is only effective after the fact. The Sidrei Tahara 198:57 agrees but for another reason. Therefore, he concludes that a woman who needs support in the mikveh should have someone hold her one hand above the water and then hold her with another hand below the water, and finally adjust the hand above the water to another position below the water. This satisfies the opinion of the Taz and Rama.
  22. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:40
  23. Pitchei Teshuva 198:22 citing Rabbi Akiva Eiger
  24. Pitchei Teshuva 198:1 quoting the Zichron Yosef YD 10. The Orot Hatahara p. 336 quotes this and the several opinions that follow and sides with Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.
  25. Avnei Nezer YD 253:3
  26. Shaarei Tevilah 34:4 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach
  27. Shaarei Tevilah 34:4 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach for an extenuating circumstance, Chelkat Yoav YD 30
  28. Igrot Moshe YD 1:97
  29. The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 284 quotes numerous poskim who don't agree with the Zichron Yosef. Chut Shani p. 276 maintains that the Chatom Sofer, Nodeh Beyehuda, Rabbi Akiva Eiger, and Chazon Ish disagree with it. Igrot Moshe YD 1:97 and 2:88 doesn't rely on it.
  30. The Shulchan Aruch 198:23 writes that bandages are a chatzitza. It is based on the Rambam Mikvaot 2:4 who understood the Tosefta Mikvaot 6:4 as saying that bandages are a chatzitza. However, the Rash (Mikvaot 9:4) as well as the Rosh and Rashba according to the Bet Yosef 198;23 understood the Tosefta as referring to another topic and not chatzitza. Nonetheless, the Tur accepts the opinion of the Rambam possibly because he saw it as logical even though the Rosh didn’t explain the Tosefta like that.
  31. The Rambam (Mikvaot 2:4 and Shulchan Aruch 198:23 hold that a loose bandage isn’t a chatzitza, however, the Shach 198:28 cites the Bach who disagrees and considers bandages to be a chatzitza even if they’re loose since water can’t enter them perfectly. Orot Hatahara p. 350 follows Shulchan Aruch.
  32. Rabbi Mordechai Willig (Niddah shiur 40, min 18-21) based on Rashi Shabbat 15b, The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 328, Orot Hatahara p. 350, Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 65. Mareh Kohen p. 183 quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach who agrees saying that dissoluble stitches aren't a chatzitza since they're going to dissolve and also because the woman wants them there.
  33. Chut Shani p. 276 for the reason that the stitches remain for a long period of time and a person is bothered by them since they're on the body.
  34. The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 328, Igrot Moshe YD 2:87. Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 65 is lenient in an extenuating circumstance if the stitches need to remain for a week based on Ketav Sofer 91. Orot Hatahara p. 338 and 350 is lenient after the fact for the reason that part of the string is inside the body and the part that is outside is very small such that a person wouldn't be concerned.
  35. Shulchan Aruch 198:22. The Bet Yosef 198:22 s.v. v’tzarich in his first explanation explains that since the limb isn’t deriving living off the body anymore it is like it is already detached and poses as a chatzitza to the area where it is attached. The Bach 198:21 explains that since it needs to be cut by a doctor it isn’t like it is already cut, therefore it is a chatzitza. See the Taz 198:22 for another explanation.
  36. Tzitz Eliezer 10:25:10 writes that a ring placed in the womb isn’t a chatzitza because it is deeper than where the man penetrates and is considered completely inside the body and not just a concealed area. Furthermore, they are left there for a long period of time and should be considered as though she doesn’t care. The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 303 quotes this regarding IUD.
    • The Pitchei Teshuva 198:16 quotes the Nodeh Beyehuda YD 64 and Zichron Yosef YD 10 who hold that a ring that is inserted deep into the body to protect the womb isn’t a chatzitza since it is considered inside the body and not a concealed area that is sometimes exposed. The Chatom Sofer 192 provides another reason why this ring isn’t a chatzitza. He explains that since it stays there all the time and is only removed for doing the hefsek tahara or giving birth doesn’t make it like she’s concerned to have it removed in the first place as it is just removed to make space.
  37. Chut Shani p. 279 writes that contacts lenses are a chatzitza whether they're hard or soft and are left in at night since they're not permanently part of the eye. Minchat Yitzchak 6:89 agrees. Shiurei Shevet Halevi 182:7:2 writes it seems that contact lenses aren't a chatzitza after the fact but he says he didn't check out the science to determine if the lenses stick tightly to the eye. Badei Hashulchan 198:296 is unsure if the lenses are tight enough to be a chatzitza. Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 26-7 is lenient after the fact. Igrot Moshe YD 104 is lenient after the fact based on his opinion (in YD 1:98) that the concealed areas of the body can't have something stuck to them but could have something that would prevent water from entering that area.
  38. Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 27, Orot Hatahara p. 344. The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 325 quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach that contact lenses that a woman needs to wear after cataract surgery may be worn in the mikveh.
  39. Pitchei Teshuva 198:15 cites the Shivat Tzion 42 who doesn’t like the solution of using a loose bandage to cover the eye since there is a concern that it’ll be made tight since that is in her best interest to protect her eye. Also, the solution of having her cover her own eye with her hand isn’t effective since raising her hand to cover her eye creates folds in the body which constitute a chatzitza. Therefore, he suggests having another person cover her eye so that it isn’t so tight and also such that she wetted her hands beforehand.
    • Igrot Moshe YD 1:98 is lenient about a woman who needs a cotton smeared with Vaseline in the ear because a chasisa that isn't attached to the body but merely covers it and prevents water from penetrating it isn't a chatzitza in a concealed area (bet hastarim). See there at length where he uses this to explain the Raavad quoted in Shulchan Aruch 199:12. Rav Ovadia Yosef in Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 66 agrees.
    • Chelkat Yoav YD 30 writes that a gauze in the ear isn't a chasisa for a few reasons: 1) Since it is only a derabbanan chasisa as it is a minority of the body. Additionally, since it is inside the ear it is only a rabbinic chasisa (like Ritva Kiddushin 25a). 2) Since it is going to stay there for more than 7 days it isn't a chasisa and like it is part of the body. 3) Since it isn't possible without this gauze maybe the rabbinic halacha of chatzitza doesn't apply. The third reason is also hinted to in Nodeh Beyehuda YD 2:135. The Shevet Halevi 2:95 relies this third reason completely if the situation is that a woman couldn't possibly be tovel without a tight covering over the ear since the rabbis didn't insist on their gezerah if the alternative is her getting divorced.
    • Chazon Ish YD 94:8 is lenient for a woman who had a hole in her ear to place a cotton in the ear with oil on it since the oil is a liquid substance. His main discussion is regarding the oil and not the cotton.
    • Ben Ish Chai in Rav Poalim 2:27 is strict on the cotton in the ear because she wants it there to be tight. Rather he advises having another person wet their hands and not so tightly cover her ears while she's tovel.
  40. Shiurei Shevet Halevi 198:24:2 writes that braces that can't be removed aren't a chatzitza. Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe YD 1:96 writes that if the braces are to prevent the teeth from falling out they aren't a chatzitza but if it is just for aesthetic purposes they are a chatzitza. Orot Hatahara p. 349 quotes Rav Elyashiv as agreeing. Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 143 writes that braces aren't a chatzitza if they're needed to unite the teeth and prevent them from loosening.
  41. Chut Shani p. 311, Shiurei Shevet Halevi 198:24:2, Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 137 unlike the Chachmat Adam 119:18
  42. Chut Shani p. 311 quoting the Chazon Ish that it is a chatzitza since it is going to be removed for medical reasons and isn't nullified to the body. He agrees that if the temporary filling is only put in and removed because it won't last (but isn't removed for dental work) it isn't a chatzitza.
  43. Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 139, Orot Hatahara p. 349. Igrot Moshe 1:97 offers 3 reasons why a temporary filling isn't a chatzitza: 1) It is meant to stay there for a long fixed period of time (like Zichron Yosef). 2) The temporary filling is just put in for a time to close up the area and immediately after it is removed it will be replaced with a permanent filling. If the temporary filling would have lasted she would keep it longer but practically it needs to be replaced with a better filling. That isn't considered a chatzitza as she's not concerned about having the area open ever again. 3) The hole in the tooth is a unnatural hole and perhaps isn't included in the areas that have an issue of chatzitza. He concludes that the first reason is questionable and the third is new so they shouldn't be relied upon. [It is noteworthy that the second reason which is the primary reason of Rav Moshe doesn't apply if the temporary filling is put in so that work can be done there later as he writes in Igrot Moshe YD 2:88.]
  44. Shiurei Shevet Halevi 198:24:2 explains that the temporary filling is coming to replace the natural tooth and is desired so it isn't a chatzitza, nonetheless, he is lenient unless it will remain there for 4 weeks. He adds that if the filling is protecting the root of the tooth there is more room to be lenient. However, if the filling was to protect the root and the doctor determined that for medical reasons temporary filling has to removed after a certain time, it will be a chatzitza after that time.
  45. Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 143 writes that a crown isn't a chatzitza because it is a minority of the body, inside the mouth, and would hurt to remove it. Shiurei Shevet Halevi 198:24:2 writes that a crown isn't a chatziza unless it is a very temporary crown that is in for only a day or two. Chut Shani p. 312 holds that a crown isn't a chatzitza if it can't be removed.
  46. The Tosefta Mikvaot 6:4 writes that jewelry is a chatzitza. The Rosh (Mikvaot no. 26) quotes the Raavad who explains that the reason jewelry is a chatzitza even though it adorns the body is that since when she kneads dough or the like she’ll remove it, it is considered a chatzitza even now. The Shach 198:23 quotes the Raavad. The Shulchan Aruch 198:23 writes that jewelry is a chatzitza unless it is loose.
    • Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Hahagot Shulchan Aruch 198:6) points out that the Tashbetz 3:280 translates nezamim of the mishna as nose rings but holds that earrings aren't a chatzitza (which is supported by the gemara Shababt 59b). However, the Bach (responsa 41) holds that earrings are an issue even after the fact.
  47. Shulchan Aruch 198:23 writes that if the jewelry is loose it isn’t a chatzitza. This is based on the Tosefta. However, the Pitchei Teshuva 198:13 quotes the Bet Hillel and Chamudei Doniel hold that even if the jewelry was loose it is a chatzitza. Nonetheless, the Sidrei Tahara 198:43 defends Shulchan Aruch as does the Bach (responsa 41) though he is strict by earrings.
  48. The Rashba (Torat Habayit Hakatzar 32a) writes that hair dye isn't a chatzitza for three reasons. 1) Since the women don't want to remove it it isn't considered a chatzitza if it doesn't cover a majority of the hair. 2) They actively want it there so that it becomes like part of the body. 3) As it is very thin it isn't considered an interposition between the body and the water at all. The Rashba (Meyuchasot LRamban no. 124) in a letter writes that the Ramban agreed with his opinion on this matter. The Rosh (Mikvaot no. 27), Rabbenu Yerucham (Netiv 26 ch. 5), Tur and Shulchan Aruch 198:17 agree. The Tur and Shulchan Aruch 198:17 even extend this to dye on the face as well.
    • The Shach 198:21 and Badei Hashulchan 198:118 hold that the primary reasons for the leniency are 2 and 3. However, the Sidrei Tahara 198:33 argues that the reason that the chatzitza is so thin and doesn't leave a residue isn't the primary reason to be lenient.
    • Nonetheless, The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 294 writes that makeup must be removed since it is routinely removed and also it would run when the woman goes in the mikveh. The Mishmeret Hatahara (Rabbi Morgenstern, v. 2 p. 371 n. 229) agrees.
    • Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 29 writes that makeup should be removed but isn't chatzitza after the fact. He also mentions that tattoos aren't a chatziza.
  49. The Rashba (Torat Habayit Hakatzar 32b) explains that dyes on the hands are decorative and don't constitute a chatzitza. Many rishonim agree with this and it is quoted in Shulchan Aruch YD 198:17. See above for more details. However, according to Ashkenazim the nail polish has to be removed initially as the Rama 198:1 writes that all chatzitzot should be removed.
    • Therefore, The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 293 writes that the nail polish should be removed, but if it can't be removed or she was already tovel without removing the polish and it remained intact, the nail polish isn't a chatzitza. This is only true if the nail polish was in a decorative manner such as that she'd be seen publicly like that it isn't a chatzitza but if it is cracked or only on partially it is an issue. Mishmeret Hatahara (v. 2 p. 372) only accepts that it isn't a chatzitza if she always wears nail polish.
    • Rav Ovadia Yosef in Taharat Habayit (v. 3 p. 101) writes that the nails should be cut before tevilah, however, if a woman wants to grow them long and polish them and won't be agreeable to cut them, she should be allowed to go to the mikveh but should be told politely that the minhag is to cut the nails before tevilah.
  50. Chut Shani 198:23, The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 293
  51. The Tosefta Mikvaot 6:5 writes that dry blood is a chatzitza. The Rosh Mivaot no. 26 applies this to dry blood on a wound. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:9 codifies the Rosh.
    • The Mishna Mikvaot 9:2-4 explains that scabbing on the wound isn't a chatzitza but beyond the wound is a chatzitza. The Rosh (Mikvaot no. 25) compares this to a wound from bloodletting which within 3 days even beyond the wound is moist and not a chatzitza. The Rosh concludes that scabs should be softened before going to the mikveh. The Shulchan Aruch YD 198:2 follows the Rosh that softening the scabs are effective. Shiurei Tahara 198:23 s.v. gam shows that a number of rishonim hold that softening the scabs isn't effective.
    • The Bet Yosef 198:15 clarifies that the scab beyond the wound means if it extends past where the opening of the wound was.
    • [Rabbi Willig (Niddah shiur 30, min 15-20 holds that a scab which hasn’t healed doesn’t need to be removed and it is enough to soften them by sitting in water until they soften and scratching isn’t necessary. Similarly, The Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 282 writes that scabs which can be removed painlessly should be removed otherwise they should be softened. Additionally, acne should not be removed as it could leave a permanent scar, instead it should be softened. Badei Hashulchan 198:78 and 198:83 writes that the practice is to remove scabs even if they hurt but if it hurts a lot they should be softened in water and if the scabs won't soften she can they aren't a chatzitza and she can go to the mikveh.
    • The basis for the leniency when it hurts to remove the scabs they don't constitute a chatzitza is based on the Mordechai (Shavuot 748) and Smak (no. 293) who say that if it is painful to remove the scabs they don't need to be removed since it isn't considered as though one wants them removed (makpid), though the minhag was still to remove them. The Kesav Sofer 91 explains that perhaps the minhag is based on the concern that makpid depends on the majority of people and since everyone has a different threshold for pain it is possible that others wouldn't consider it painful to remove and so it is still called makpid. The Shiurei Tahara 198:23 s.v. vetzarich lomar learns from the stringent practice of the Sar Mkusi and Maharik (cited by the Bach 198:10 and Taz 198:) that perhaps even if it is painful to remove something it is still called makpid. See however the Kesav Sofer 91 who disagrees with this proof.
  52. The Laws of Niddah p. 349. Shiurei Shevet Halevi 198:22(4) writes that the reason why a woman shouldn't have a consistent practice to dry all hard skin is that if she does she so she must continue her practice and then if she forgets one time there is a serious question that should be asked to a rabbi. See Shevet Halevi 3:127.
  53. The Bet Dovid YD siman 98 and Ohel Yosef siman 40 hold that a dye on the hands isn't a chatzitza if it doesn't leave any substance above the skin level (based on the Rashba cited in Shulchan Aruch 198:17). For example, they were discussing a woman whose hands were dyed because of peeling nuts and were lenient because it couldn't be removed and it didn't leave any residue. This also seems to be the opinion of the Taz 198:17 citing the Roke'ach.
    • Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 28 is lenient on any coloration of the skin since it has no substance above the skin level. Nonetheless, he writes that initially it should be removed.
  54. Mishna Mikvaot 9:1, Gemara Shabbat 57a, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:2
  55. Rosh (Shabbat 6:1), Tur and Shulchan Aruch YD 198:2
  56. Niddah 67a rules that two hairs tied aren't a chatzitza and one hair is a chatzitza. Bet Yosef 198:5 clarifies that two hairs tied together is considered like one hair tied onto another hair. Shulchan Aruch 198:5 rules that one hair is a chatzitza and two aren't. The Badei Hashulchan 198:31 explains that the two hairs which aren't a chatzitza applies if they're tied onto another hair or themselves but not if they're tied together.
  57. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:47
  58. Chatom Sofer 195 holds that the hair isn't a chatzitza even though it is going to be cut (and should be a chatzitza according to the Raavan 326 cited by Shach 198:25) since it isn't going to be cut prior to the wedding. Igrot Moshe YD 2:88 argues with his proof but agrees with his position for another reason; since the hair is adorns a woman even though she's going to cut it because of a minhag it isn't like it is cut already.
  59. Badei Hashulchan 198:356 explains that since a woman cleaned her hair to remove as much dandruff as she would normally remove it is considered like she doesn't care and isn't a chatzitza. If she finds a large piece of dandruff in her hair after tevilah and normally would have been concerned to remove it she should remove it and go to the mikveh again. Rabbi Mordechai Willig (Niddah shiur 40, min 21-23) said that the minhag is for a woman who has dandruff to go to the mikveh even if her preparations for the mikveh had to be separated by a day or two such as if the tevilah is the second night of Yom Tov after Shabbat.
  60. Badei Hashulchan 198:148 based on Taz 198:21
  61. Chida in Shiurei Bracha 198:2, Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 25
  62. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:18 based on the Hagahot Shaarei Dura, Ravyah, Rosh and others that it is important to cut nails before tevilah since it is hard to clean them from any dirt.
  63. Rama 198:20 based on Hagahot Shaarei Dura since it is likely that there was dirt there and she missed it. The Shach 198:25 quotes the Raavan 326 who held that long nails are automatically a chatzitza since they are going to be cut soon anyway. However, the Ravyah (responsa 991) disagreed and held that long nails aren't a chatzitza if they're clean. Mordechai (Shevuot no. 751) cites the Ravyah. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:20 follows the Ravyah.
  64. Aruch Hashulchan 200:1, Badei Hashulchan 200:5
  65. Taz 198:21 is lenient only after the fact if the nails were clean and she was with her husband, whereas the Shach 198:25 is strict even in such a case. Laws of Niddah v. 2 p. 311 writes that a rav should be consulted. Binat Adam 119:14 and Ben Ish Chai (Shana Bet, Shemini no. 4) agree with the Taz. Taharat Habayit v.3 p. 85 cites the Tashbetz 3:58 who is a support for the Taz.
    • The Binat Adam 199:14 understood the Taz as saying that if the nail was clean after she came out of the mikveh even though she wasn't sure it was clean beforehand we're not concerned since it is only a safek derabbanan. Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 84 quotes Rav Shlomo Kluger who discussed that the Taz would even being lenient if the nail was dirty after the tevilah but most achronim don't accept this even according to the Taz.
    • The Sidrei Tahara 198:39 points out that the idea of the Taz that if she didn't know if her nails were clean before and she forgot to cut them she can be lenient since it is only a question of a safek derabbanan is subject to dispute. In Sidrei Tahara 199:40 he discusses at length if you could be lenient on a safek derabbanan if originally there was a chazaka of tumah. Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 84 quotes achronim who support the idea of the Taz based on the Rash (Mikvaot 2:2) that since the tevilah worked on a Biblical level the derabbanan safek is viewed independently of the original chazakah of tumah. See the Pri Hasadeh 4:104 who relies on this Rash regarding bandages. See Sidrei Tahara and Taharat Habayit (v. 3, pp. 85-6) for elaboration of this complex topic.
    • Sidrei Tahara 198:51 asks on the Taz that if she didn't know if her nails were clean before tevilah and just knows that they're clean now, doesn't that mean she didn't check and her tevilah would be invalid. Mishcha D'rabuta YD 198:8 (Rabbi Masud Alfasi, Chief Rabbi of Tunisia in 18th century) accepts the Taz and explains that if she cleaned beforehand but we're just not sure if she checked really well that's where we say that safek derabbanan. Also, he writes that if she cut her nails within 3 or 4 days of the tevilah that is sufficient.
  66. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:18 rules that the nail itself isn't a chatzitza. Rav Ovadia Yosef in Taharat Habayit (v. 3 p. 83) writes that she doesn't need to go again if she forgot to cut her nails as long as they were clean. However, the Ben Ish Chai (Shana Bet, Shemini no. 4) holds like the Rama that she should go again.
  67. Orot Hatahara p. 345 citing Chut Shani p. 302. See also Mishcha D'rabuta YD 198:8 (Rabbi Masud Alfasi, Chief Rabbi of Tunisia in 18th century).
  68. The Tosefta Mikvaot 6:5 distinguishes between whether the dirt is under the part of the nail that corresponds to the top of the finger which it wouldn't be a chatzitza and beyond that. The Rosh (Mikvaot no. 26) and Rashba (Torat Habayit Hakatzar 32a) hold like this Tosefta. The Rambam (Mikvaot 2:14), however, argues that the nail isn't a chatzitza either way. The Tur and Shulchan Aruch 198:18 rule like the Rosh.
  69. Mishna Mikvaot 9:2 writes that dough under the nail is a chatzitza. The Rambam (Mikvaot 2:1) equates mud with dough. The Rashba (Chullin 107, cited by Bet Yosef 198:18) explains that dough or mud stick and are a chatzitza but dirt which a woman removes easily isn't a chatzitza if she decided to leave it there and it was on the bottom of the nail corresponding to the finger. The Taz 198:19 rules that mud is a chatzitza under the nail.
  70. Mordechai Shevuot no. 748, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:19
  71. Pitchei Teshuva 198:10 quoting Chamudei Doniel. Ben Ish Chai (Shana Bet, Shemini no. 4) agrees. Shiurei Shevet Halevi (cited by Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 91) is lenient despite the fact that the Raavan (cited by Shach 198:25) writes that there's no distinction between fingernails and toenails.
  72. The Laws of Niddah v. 2, p. 313. He is lenient in extenuating circumstances even if it can't be totally cleaned based on the Chamudei Doniel cited by Pitchei Teshuva YD 198:10 that today women don't care about how their toenails look. Taharat Habayit v. 3 p. 92 based on the Chatom Sofer 195 that since it isn't going to be cut until the healing is finished it isn't a chatzitza now.
  73. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:21
  74. Shach 198:27, Bear Heitev 198:23
  75. Orot Hatahara p. 355 citing Taharat Habayit p. 101-112 and Chut Shani p. 299
  76. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:45
  77. Shulchan Aruch YD 198:42
  78. The Rosh (Mikvaot no. 21) writes that since the water touches the feet before it touches the floor there is automatically a layer of water surrounding the feet and so she doesn't have to pick up her feet when she is tovel. The Raavad (cited by Bet Yosef 198:28) and Rashba (Torat Habayit Hakatzar 31b) agree. Shulchan Aruch 198:30 codifies this halacha.