A Mikvah—ritual bath for women infected with the coronavirus is currently operating in the Beit Vagan neighborhood of Jerusalem, Kipa reported Thursday.
The mikvah has two separate pools, one for women in isolation and the other for women infected with corona.
The mikvah lady told Kipa that women who show symptoms, women who are in isolation, and women who have not had a corona test all come to dip at her pools. The sick women, she says, immerse in a pool designated for corona patients.
According to the same mikvah lady, the facility has not received an official permit, but the Home Front Command is sending women from the Corona hotels to her mikvah.
“The Home Front Command was here and they themselves take women out of the Corona hotels and bring them to us. There’s no registered permit in any government office but that’s what you do. You know, getting such permits in our area is impossible,” the mikvah lady explained.
“A woman with symptoms, a woman who’s not feeling well, or a woman who has not undergone a corona test – will go in first,” she said. But “anyone who tested positive for corona enters this pool without much arguing because they are all in the same situation, as in the hotels.”
According to her, the mikvah is also open to sick women who come from home. “A woman who comes from her home should not meet other women except the mikvah lady or women who are in the same situation as she. The mikvah has a separate entrance and it’s kept empty especially for this, it is not a regular mikvah. There are no women here without corona.”
The IDF spokesperson’s office said in response: The Beit Vagan hotel, like all the hotels that house corona patients, is a convalescent facility that provides an alternative to hospitalization. Hotel staff together with the Home Front Command staff do everything in their power to assist and satisfy all the needs of those staying in the recovery hotels, which includes assisting women who are interested to perform a mitzvah and dip in the mikvah.”
The IDF Spokesperson’s response does not refer to the fact that the mikvah was not registered with the authorities.
“Exiting the hotel to the mikvah is carried out in a way that allows for the modesty of the women to be maintained and in a safe manner by the Ezer Mitzion organization, while strictly maintaining public health. Inside the mikvah in question, there’s a complete separation between the part where the corona patients immerse and the part where the other women immerse.”
Neither the Health Ministry nor the Ministry of Religious Affairs has so far responded to Kipa’s inquiries.