The Mikvah is an integral part of the Jewish woman and key source Jewish continuity. Throughout our Jewish history, women immersed themselves in the Mikvah to preserve the sanctity of marriage in an undying commitment toward family purity. They did this during times of uncertainty when traveling to the mikvah meant putting themselves in possible danger, recognizing that they were each an important part of our collective story.
Taharat Hamishpachah (family purity), is more than a woman preparing to return intimacy; it is about a woman refocusing; on herself, who she is, her connection to G-d, in the ultimate act of self-care.
For generations, across every religious affiliation, women have been encouraged to observe the laws of Niddah, as a time to step away from conjugal relations in order to reignite the connection between husband and wife. The distance is not only physical, but a spiritual pause and a time for women to restore energy, faith, and intention in her personal and marital relationship. From the beginning of her period and for seven days following the end of menstruation, husband and wife do not engage in marital relations, until nightfall on the seventh day after a woman immerses herself in the Mikvah.
The Mikvah waters carry a mystical power that purifies and cleanses a woman’s mind, body, and soul. It is both a time for prayer and meditation, and a chance for her to be at one with herself and with G-d. There are no barriers and no distractions. The sound of the water softly ripples and there is holiness and tranquility in the silence. A woman dips in the Mikvah, immersing herself completely, signifying that she too, is part of the evergrowing link, a connection to our past and our future.
This age-old tradition is still very much a part of our rebirth; as a woman, as a wife, and as a vessel for Jewish continuity.
To learn more about the Mikvah laws and about family purity, please click here to visit the Chabad Global Mikvah Site.