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Preparing for the Mikveh

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Chatzitzot (Interpositions)
* 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.</ref>
# Additionally, something which the woman doesn't care about leaving but covers a majority of her body or hair<ref>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. </ref> is considered a chatzitza.<ref>Niddah 67b, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:1</ref>
# 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.<Ref>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. </ref>
# Strings tied around the hair are a chatzitza unless they are loose.<Ref>Mishna Mikvaot 9:1, Gemara Shabbat 57a, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:2</ref> However, strings tied into the hair braids are a chatzitza even if they are loose.<ref>Rosh (Shabbat 6:1), Tur and Shulchan Aruch YD 198:2</ref>
# 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.<ref>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.</ref>
# 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.<ref>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.</ref>
# 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.<Ref>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.</ref> If one has scabs that are difficult to remove one should consult a rabbi before going to the mikveh.
# Ink, milk, honey, and blood aren't chatzitzot if they are moist but are chatzitzot if they are dry.<Ref>Tosefta Mikvaot 6:5, Rosh Mikvaot no. 26, Shulchan Aruch YD 198:15</ref> Blood that congealed is a chatzitza.<Ref>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.</ref>
[[Category: Women]]

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