A Mikvah is a small pool of water which Jewish women use regularly throughout their married life. Primarily, the Mikvah is the anchor of "Taharat Hamishpachah": the set of Torah laws regulating intimate relations between husband and wife, maximizing the relationship and nurturing an ideal vitality in their marriage.
The word “Mikvah” means “gathering” or “collection” in Hebrew, denoting a collection of water to one place. This is why a spring-fed pool, an ocean or a lake, as naturally occurring mikvah, may be used as such. Generally, however, the Mikvah has almost always been indoors, allowing users the privacy and comfort required.
The Mikvah channels its native spirituality into every body that enters it. This is why the Torah – G-d’s life manual – makes Mikvah an exclusive mitzvah for Jewish women. Because woman, not man, is the creator of new life; it is the woman whose earthly intimacy forges heavenly souls. It is the woman who conceives and gives birth. It is the woman who creates the home and its environment. And so, at the end of the creative period and the beginning of the next, the woman recharges her unique powers of creation. She immerses herself in the transcendent, sustaining, restorative, creative and spiritual water that is the Mikvah – inaugurating a new cycle of creativity restored to its ideal place between husband and wife.
The Halachik importance of Mikvah?
The critical importance that Halachah, Jewish law, applies to healthy family life is demonstrated by the cardinal emphasis it places on building a mikvah in every Jewish community. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the late foremost Halachic authority of modern times, writes in a well-known responsum, that a new community must construct its mikvah first, even selling the sacred Torah scroll if necessary to raise the funds needed. For the durability of the Jewish family, and indeed, the secret of Jewish survival as passed from mothers to daughters across the centuries, lies in the maintenance of the mikvah.
In recent year, Mikvah has been undergoing a remarkable renaissance in the United State. Many young people whose parents or grandparents abandoned mikvah years ago are returning today to find spiritual meaning and beauty in the waters of the mikvah. Over 200 new Mikvaot, many boasting exquisite architecture and stunning interior design, have been built in the last decade alone.
Our Unique Approach
The Mikvah Yisroel - Me Menachem will not be just another mikvah. It will be the centerpiece of a community institution. It will be the flagship of our ongoing taharat hamishpachah education efforts. Every young Jewish couple we reach out to and touch will be encouraged in a most positive manner to experience this mitzvah, to nurture it in the freedom of our contemporary society and connect through it to generations past who struggled and sacrificed to keep it alive. Regular informative classes, inspirational guest lectures and personalized, private study sessions on family purity will be offered to the greater Jewish community, all offering educational, stimulating tours of the mikvah itself and its ancillary facilities.
And, of course, the mikvah will be open to all Jews who wish to use it, regardless of affiliation, membership or level of observance.
Just as water nourishes a tree, the water of Mikvah Yisroel - Me Menachem will spiritually nourish Jewish Seattle and beyond, allowing it to sink strong roots and spread fruitful branches, thus guaranteeing our future.
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