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Jul 8, 2008

wasting water in the mikva

Israel is suffering, as always but much worse this year, from a severe water shortage. Not only do we not have oil in this little strip of land we call home, but we also do not have water. Great place to live in the hottest region on the planet.

The water situation has gotten so bad that authorities are warning that there soon might not be water coming out of our faucets, as the water level is dangerously close to the level of the pumps. If it gets below pump level, they cannot pump any more water out.

Everyone is looking for ways to conserve water. Ynet has discovered that there is a tremendous waste of water in the mikva world. There is no supervision, and they generally change the water 2 to 3 times a week, just throwing the water out. They want them to be recycling the water, have some authority supervising the disposal, etc.

While they are quick to criticize the frum world for wasting water in the mikvas, I noticed last week when the Great Tel Aviv Water Fight took place in Rabin Square, that all the articles were very straightforward mentioning the item, yet none of the articles that I saw criticized them for wasting all that water. (I linked to Haaretz because I could not find a ynet article right now, but they also wrote about it at the time). For a cool video of the water fight, click here - warning: there might be inappropriately dressed women participating in the water fight.

I am not saying Mikva authorities should continue wasting water. They should recycle the water instead of draining it into the sewage sytem. Every drop counts.
As a side note, if the mikvas look the way they do and they are being changed 2-3 times a week, I would seriously be afraid to consider what mikvas would look like if they changed the water less frequently!

But to not criticize the great water fight, to even allow it to have happened at all, questions the real motivations behind the criticism of the mikvas. Are they really concerned about the water waste or is this just a way of getting at the frum? And yes, I understand the amount of water wasted in a one time fight is much less than the amount wasted on a regular basis by the mikvas, but the wastage of the water fight had absolutely no purpose, while the mikva is at least religiously needed..


  1. This is not the first time the mikvaot have been criticized for the amount of water waste.

  2. This whole story is ridiculous. Many if not most mikvaot have filters. Tzomet made a filter that stays inside the mikvah and has Rav Wosner's hechsher.

  3. RAFI:

    "there might be"?

    i'll check and let you know!


    what is the purpose of the filter? what would be halakhic objection? how does tzomet get around it?

  4. "warning: there might be inappropriately dressed women participating in the water fight."

    Just wondering what is considered appropriate dress for a water fight?

  5. I didn't view the water fight video, but I'm guess that the amount of water in the fight doesn't even begin to approach the amount of water used by all the mikvas in Israel that are getting changed 2-3 times a week. Banning an annual(?) water fight probably won't make any real difference in the water levels, but recycling mikva water might. I don't think I'd see this as just another way of getting at the frum.

  6. Risa - wet tshirts, halter tops, shorts.. whatever. watch the video at your own discretion (the warning is for guys I guess)

  7. Rafi,
    Does your wife watch everything then approve it for you ? ;)

  8. not sure what you are referring to, anon, but my wife actually approves of very little of what I write.


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