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The tradition of Mikvah and the laws of Family Purity are central to Jewish life. Discover more about the tradition that can become a rich and fulfilling part of your marriage.
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What is a Mikvah?
The world's natural bodies of water- its oceans, rivers, wells, and springfed lakes - are mikvahs in their most primal form. They contain waters of divine source and thus, tradition teaches, the power to purify. Created even before the earth took shape, these bodies of water offer a quintessential route to consecration. But they pose difficulties as well. These waters may be inaccessible or dangerous, not to mention the problems of inclement weather and lack of privacy. Jewish life therefore necessitates the construction of mikvahs ( Mikvah pools), and indeed this has been done by Jews in every age and circumstance.
 
Why Mikvah?
The mikvah offers the individual, the community, and the nation of Israel the remarkable gift of purity and holiness. No other religious establishment, structure, or rite can affect the Jew in this way and, indeed, on such an essential level. Its extraordinary power, however, is contingent on its construction in accordance with the numerous and complex specifications as outlined in Halachah, Jewish Law.
 
Where does it come from?
Immersion in the mikvah has offered a gateway to purity ever since the creation of man. The Midrash relates that after being banished from Eden, Adam sat in a river that flowed from the garden. This was an integral part of his teshuvah (repentance) process, of his attempt at return to his original perfection. Before the revelation at Sinai, all Jews were commanded to immerse themselves in preparation for coming face to face with God. In the desert, the famed;well of Miriam served as a mikvah. And Aaron and his sons' induction into the priesthood was marked by immersion in the mikvah.