Laws of showering & Mikvah on Shabbos
- What is the din with regards to taking a shower on Shabbos?
- Does it make a difference if the shower is cold or hot (if the hot water was turned on before Shabbos)?
- Are there any heteirim to take any sort of shower (cold/hot or limb by limb etc. or if you are an איסטניס etc.)?
- Is there a problem with taking a shower in a public mikveh or shower house because of ‘מראית עין וכדו?
- Similarly, what is the din with regards to going to the mikvah?
- Is one allowed to “קראץ” in a mikveh on shabbos once he finished his tvillois?
- Does it make a difference if it is hot or cold?
Shower on Shabbos:
Turning on the hot water on Shabbos can be a violation of the Torah prohibition to light a fire on Shabbos. The Chachomim forbade us from bathing or showering with hot water on Shabbos, even if the water was heated before Shabbos. The Alter Rebbe writes (quoting from earlier poskim) that one may not bathe/shower even with cold water. However, in a case of extreme difficulty or in a case of pain, one may bathe/shower with cold water in private. One needs to be careful of the following:
- Not to squeeze the hair from when it gets wet until it’s dry (using shampoo etc. will pose a problem).
- Using a soap bar is not allowed.
Shower after Mikvah:
“Kratzing” in the Mikvah:
One of the main reasons for allowing a heated mikvah is because the actual immersion is for the sake of a mitzvah, and any side benefit is involuntary. However, lingering in the water only serves one’s personal benefit, and the Avnei Nezer (and others) therefore write of immersing in a mikvah on Shabbos: “One should not tarry in the mikvah but immerse immediately and leave right after; it is an obligation to object against those who linger.”
It stands to reason that one should similarly not linger in a cold mikvah too, due to the minhag not to wash in cold water on Shabbos.
שו”ע אדה”ז סימן שכו סעיף א, ו, י. (ובסוף סעי’ ו שם “שלא לרחוץ כו אפי’ בצונן” מהמג”א). שם במהד”ב לסי’ רנ”ט (מים פושרין ע’ תתפד). נו”ב תנינא או”ח סי’ כד. תהלה לדוד סי’ שכו ס”ק ג. שו”ת אבנ”ז סי’ תקכו. קצות השולחן סי’ קלג סק”א בשם הגהות רע”א רסי׳ שכו. שבת כהלכה ח”ג פח”י ביאורים אות ו.
וראה שאלה 4263.
Please also see here an article written by Rabbi Shmuel Lesches of Melbourne.