Genesis relates that in the beginning of creation, “the Divine Presence hovered upon the surface of the waters…” (Genesis 1:2). Only later, on day number three, was dry land created. When an individual goes to a Mikvah and immerses in this body of natural water, he symbolically returns to the state of tangible Divinity that was present before the creation of man. He is given the fresh opportunity to serve G-d with purity and a sense of innocence. Just as water washes away the dirt that clings to our bodies, garments, and possessions, the waters of the Mikvah are as effective in cleansing the soul of man.
(Adapted from Sefer Hachinuch mitzvah 173.175)
WHAT IS A MIKVAH?
A Mikvah is a natural body of water or a collection of water that was never stagnant or gathered by human means. A Mikvah must be filled with water from a flowing source such as fresh spring water or rainwater that is connected to a pool designed specifically for immersion.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE WATER IN A MIKVAH?
Being that water is the primary source of all living things, a Mikvah has the power to restore and replenish life. Symbolically, immersion in the Mikvah is like a return to the womb, and immersion represents a purification and type of spiritual rebirth.
WHY SHOULD I GO TO THE MIKVAH?
Mikvah is used by women, as part of the mitzvah called taharat hamishpachah (family purity) whose laws guide Jewish married life. Mikvah provides an opportunity for regularly infusing marriage with sacred renewal, and is a source of spiritual blessing for the entire family. It is a way of drawing G‑d into your marriage, by making Him an integral part of it.
Immersion in a Mikvah is a powerful spiritual tool. Kabbala teaches that immersion in a ritual bath, or Mikvah, is vital for spiritual growth.
The Holy Priest did not begin his service in the Holy Temple until he first immersed in a Mikvah.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes that when a person wakes up in the morning, he is like the High Priest preparing to do the daily service, and it is appropriate for one to submerge himself in the waters of the Mikvah before beginning his day. Mikvah has the ability to refine a person, and help him access higher spiritual levels, and gain clarity of thought.
Rabbi Ahron & Sara Hecht
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