Aug 5, 2018
'Kids Can't Be Alone in the Mikvah'

Chabad Rabbi in Tzfas Mordechai Bistritzky instructed fathers not to send their child alone to the Mikvah after a boy almost drowned.

By COLlive reporter

Fatherly supervision is needed when a young boy visits the Mikvah, says Rabbi Mordechai Bistritzky, Rabbi of the Chabad community in the holy city of Tzfas in Israel.

Rabbi Bistritzky made the halachic ruling in a public letter this week after a child in the community almost drowned in the Mikvah.

The boy, aged between 7 and 8, immersed in the Mikvah water alone and showed signs of distress. An adult there rushed to draw him out, avoiding a tragedy.

"I am making a personal plea to each parent not to allow children to go alone to the Mikvah and of course not to be in relatively deep waters without supervision," Rabbi Bistritzky wrote.

"This is an obligation and the personal responsibility of each parent," he wrote. "Whoever cannot fulfill this responsibility should not send his children to dip in the Mikvah in honor of Shabbos."

The rabbi added, "It should be remembered that the Mikvah isn't a place for small children who may get harmed, even if they are coming accompanied by an elder brother or an adult, and this is not the place to expound on this."


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Opinions and Comments
1
And what about abuse?
While I fully agree with this psak, has any Rav paskened that children & younger teens should not go to the mikvah unaccompanied? We all know it's a good place for abusers to find their victims. Just like a lifeguard at a pool, maybe mikvaot should employ attendants to look out for creeps as well as drowning kids.
(8/5/2018 10:01:35 PM)
2
Csa
They are predators hiding in mikvaot. No child should go there alone. Ever.
(8/5/2018 10:18:30 PM)
3
Last paragraph
Why isnt his last paragraph about the dangers of NOT vaccinating translated here?
(8/5/2018 10:26:52 PM)
4
MIKVEHS
I, as a parent, would be more concerned with my child getting Molested than Drowning.
Which ever way, parents should never leave their children unsupervised. This is absolute irresponsibility!
(8/5/2018 10:42:02 PM)
5
its time!
finally a rabbi talking some sense & taking a stand.
(8/5/2018 10:56:41 PM)
6
Inoculations
Why don't you mention the second part of the letter which says parents MUST give their kids shots!?!?! That's just as, if not more important.
(8/5/2018 11:50:09 PM)
7
Vaccination
What you didn't translate, is at the bottom of the letter the Rav calls on parents to vaccinate their children.
(8/5/2018 11:58:57 PM)
8
Best Advice
It takes an almost tragedy to figure out the inevitable!
THIS SHOULD BE AN INSTINCT OF ANY PARENT!
NEVER SEND A CHILD TO A MIKVAH OR A POOL WITHOUT SUPERVISION!!!!!
(8/6/2018 4:42:41 AM)
9

Good wake up job.spread the word👍👌
(8/6/2018 5:11:12 AM)
10
but many understand the Rabbi/s hint
mikveh is most definitely dangerous for kids and teens because of predators. all need to be prepared to prevent the absolute opposite of kdusha that can chas vesholom take place there. no yichud, and protection of private parts from the earliest age (seen as tznius, not something unhealthy) will go along way to protecting our young ones
(8/6/2018 5:23:17 AM)
11
Safety
Other need to protect young boys hanging around unclothed adult men. Our city Mikva had this problem
(8/6/2018 6:12:06 AM)
12
SAY WHAT!!!!
With all due respect to Rabbi Bistritzsky, why isn't there any letter warning parents not to send young children alone to the mikvah because of children being molested in the mikvah???
(8/6/2018 7:18:01 AM)
13
What about the 2nd part of the letter?
The second part of the letter tells the anti-vacs parents that they should vaccinate their kids due to outbreak of measles. It states that even if you dont believe in vaccines for your kids, you still have no right to endanger other kids.
(8/6/2018 8:31:59 AM)
14
agreed!
they are so right, children should never be alone in the mikveh!!
(8/6/2018 8:37:46 AM)
15
Child abuse
Isn't it referred to in this paragraph


The rabbi added, "It should be remembered that the Mikvah isn't a place for small children who may get harmed, even if they are coming accompanied by an elder brother or an adult, and this is not the place to expound on this."
(8/6/2018 8:53:44 AM)
16
To #1
He does mention abuse in the last paragraph.
As for your suggestion to hire a person to look out for creeps, I don't think there is a creepier job than that.
(8/6/2018 8:55:22 AM)
17
Everyone talking about abuse/molestation...
Rabbi Bistritzky does address that issue as well. The last paragraph before the asterisks reads:

"Aside from all the above, it must be borne in mind that a mikvah is not a place for young children, who may be molested, even when accompanied by an older brother or an adult. This is not the place to discuss this at length."
(8/6/2018 8:56:59 AM)
18
To number 13 whut
How does a healthy unvaccinated child pose a danger to other kids? Please explain clearly and scientifically, instead of just throwing around rash shtusim anonymously
(8/6/2018 8:57:53 AM)
19
angst
The elephant in the room, here as they say, is the dangers of any kid going to the mikva altogether under almost universal conditions.
This goes for all ages into early teens. Unfortunately, there is nothing more to expound on here, or clarify.
(8/6/2018 9:00:50 AM)
20
Time to change this...
Why are boys (anyone under 19) going to the Mikvah anyhow? The Mikvah is for adults. Children have no business going to the Mikvah at all. Enough with this already. There should be a Takana to that effect. And if Chabad doesn't take responsibility, then others Will !! Even if local authorities get involved.
(8/6/2018 9:04:57 AM)
21
Mikvas with cameras
The Mikvah at 18 forshay Monsey where Rabbi YY Jacobson is the rov of the Lubavitcher Shuel there amonst other shuels
Has surveillance cameras with sighns all over stating so I wish all mikvas had that to prevent molestations and I heard personally from a big Lubavitcher therapist that under bar Mitzva a parent has no business taking his kid to the Mikva in his practice hes heard to many molestation stories from his clients
(8/6/2018 10:00:16 AM)
22
Vacinations
One vaccine due to an outbreak is different from the 50+ vaccines they are pushing on our most precious kinderlach. Educate yourself with the facts - not with the agenda pushed by the trillion dollar pharma industry and their minions - and then decide what is best for your children.
(8/6/2018 10:09:51 AM)
23
to no 20
it is a takanh from the rabeim and somthing we do as lubavitcher chassidim is going to the mikvah before davening and this appleis to any man over bar mitzvah and were do you get 19 from
(8/6/2018 10:40:08 AM)
24
To Number 18 (Per the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention):
If your child is vaccinated, why are you worried about them catching anything from my child?

This is a common response from parents when it is suggested that a purposely unvaccinated child poses a threat to others.

One thing that many parents may not understand is that while vaccinations are highly effective, and greatly decrease the chance of contracting preventable diseases, no vaccine is 100% effective. According to CDC reports, most routine childhood vaccines are effective for 85% to 95% of recipients. For reasons related to the individual, some will not develop immunity.

This explains why, during an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, an unvaccinated child can increase the risk of disease for everyone that may be exposed, even if the people who have been vaccinated vastly outnumber those who have not. It is not uncommon for a small portion of the vaccinated population to be infected. However, that does not prove that vaccinations are not effective. To truly understand the risks, you need to know more than just the number of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated who have become infected. You have to appreciate the percentages that are involved.

For instance, this example offered on the CDC website, explains this concept quite clearly:

In a high school of 1,000 students, none has ever had measles. All but 5 of the students have had two doses of measles vaccine, and so are fully immunized. The entire student body is exposed to measles, and every susceptible student becomes infected. The 5 unvaccinated students will be infected, of course. But of the 995 who have been vaccinated, we would expect several not to respond to the vaccine. The efficacy rate for two doses of measles vaccine can be higher than 99%. In this class, 7 students do not respond, and they, too, become infected. Therefore 7 of 12, or about 58%, of the cases occur in students who have been fully vaccinated.

As you can see, this doesnt prove the vaccine didnt work only that most of the children in the class had been vaccinated, so those who were vaccinated and did not respond outnumbered those who had not been vaccinated. Looking at it another way, 100% of the children who had not been vaccinated got measles, compared with less than 1% of those who had been vaccinated. Measles vaccine protected most of the class; if nobody in the class had been vaccinated, there would probably have been 1,000 cases of measles.
(8/6/2018 10:52:14 AM)
25
To number 18
Vaccines are 85-95% effective. So an unvaccinated can indeed put a vaccinated child at risk. The unvaccinated child serves as a conduit to keep the disease alive and affects even those that have been vaccinated. This can also effect babys that have not been fully vaccinated yet because of age at great risk.
(8/6/2018 11:43:52 AM)
26
To 18
Because they can catch the disease and spread it around vs being vaccinated and not being able to catch it. Duh.
(8/6/2018 1:31:27 PM)
27
#18
What about children with cancer, auto-immune diseases and other illnesses who CAN'T be vaccinated? Do you think about those children? I suppose they don't matter, they are sick anyway, so they get measles from an unvaxed kids....
(8/6/2018 1:42:05 PM)
28
To 24 and 25
So because of a less than 0.00003% chance of getting the measles (not to mention polio which doesn't exist anymore or hep B which can only be passed as an STD) people should go against their conscience and give potentially fatally harmful chemicals to tiny babies? This fallacy is not going to work on me, nope. Just doesn't make logical, scientific, moral, basic sense. There are countless other things in life that have a higher chance of death which we do not inject harmful metals and chemicals that weren't accurately tested for safety to prevent.
(8/6/2018 3:05:51 PM)
29
@17
Misquote
(8/6/2018 3:23:58 PM)
30
To #s 24-27
Unfortunately,all the scientific information in the world will not change the minds of anti vaxxers. They are cult like in their attitudes and theories. Ask them how smallpox and Polio,mostly,become diseases of the past? The convoluted "logic" they use is absolutely headache inducing.
(8/6/2018 3:27:59 PM)
31
To # 28
Lol, polio doesn't exist anymore? That's unfortunately wishful thinking, it does indeed still exist, but to prove the point all the moreso: what do you think caused polio to become virtually obsolete? A vaccine!
(8/6/2018 6:55:55 PM)
32
Classmate died from chickenpox
Back around 1970 there was a lovely girl in my fifth grade class. One day she was absent due to chickenpox which most of us got as toddlers. For an older child, the pox can be fatal if they enter the lungs. In school one day, two weeks later funeral.
(8/6/2018 7:41:28 PM)
33
Polio is eradicated
Hasnt been in the US since the 1970s - only exists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. See https://www.cdc.gov/polio/updates/?s_cid=cs_404 why inject harmful vaccines for a disease that hasn't been in the US for 40 plus years?
(8/6/2018 9:54:04 PM)
34
Rabbis. PArents. Brains.
I find it interesting that it seems normal for that a Rabbi feels the motivation to write a public letter for parents to fulfill what seems to me to be basic parental responsibility. As if
a) parents on their own don't won't wouldn't be diligent about their children's safety in water
a) parents only do basic stuff is a Rabbi tells them to.

The act that this Rabbi issues this directive ot me indicates that he in fact expects that parents do not know or assume basic parental responsibility

Is this what Chassidic Judaism and the model of rabonim and mashpiim has groomed? That people don't breathe unless their rabbi tells them to?

Indeed. create and foster a culture like that and you will have sheeple.

(8/6/2018 11:19:44 PM)
35
To #34
So in the wider world, when there are warning signs and reminders to parents - near pools, in amusement parks, on toy packaging, etc. - is that also because of Chassidic Judaism and the model of rabonim and mashpiim?
(8/7/2018 6:01:07 AM)
36
To # 23
Maybe 13 is an adult. But surely not 7 or 8 years old? If kids want to go swimming, I am certain that there are plenty of pools with qualified lifeguards. A Mikvah is meant for mature people.
(8/7/2018 9:05:55 AM)
37
An Old problem
This is not a recent problem the lack of supervision of children in the mikva. It's been a problem since I was a child too. Horse play, kids getting hurt or worse. What normal parent sends à kid to the mikva alone? Now days rachmana litzlon we have more reasons to bé vigilant of poor children in thé mikva. Please parents use your brains
(8/8/2018 8:44:20 AM)
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