The word “mikvah” means “a gathering of waters”. A mikvah is built according to precise rules of location, dimension, and source of its natural water. The mikvah looks like a small pool, is about four feet deep, and is filled with warm (92 degree) water. This “mayim chaim” – “living waters” – reminds us of the pure waters of the Garden of Eden. The ritual of immersion in a mikvah is a means of spiritual purification, helping us to prepare ourselves for events in our lives of great spiritual importance. In the times of the Temple in Jerusalem, the high priest immersed himself in the mikvah five separate times during the services for Yom Kippur. According to the Talmud, if a new Jewish community is established, it is incumbent upon the community to build the mikvah first, even before building the synagogue. Performing the rite of circumcision and immersion in a mikvah are the two oldest rituals in any religion, having been performed continuously for almost 3,500 years.
The mikvah at Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah opened in February 1998. We have welcomed thousands of people who have come here to immerse in the warm, clean waters of the mikvah. People come to the mikvah for many different reasons, including (a) the final step of conversion; (b) brides and grooms; (c) before holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach; and (d) before a trip to Israel. Married women may use the mikvah on a monthly basis. People also seek out the comforting waters of the mikvah before or after surgery, upon completion of chemotherapy, and to observe a yahrzeit.
By appointment only. Contact Carol at 847-256-4699.