What is Mikvah ?
Literally, the word Mikvah means “gathering”, specifically the gathering of the waters as in the account of creation (Genesis 1:10 and Leviticus 11:36).
Traditionally, Mikvah refers to a ritual bath. Water is a beautiful and compelling symbol of life. Water is a symbol of God’s sustaining us in our wonderings, in our spiritual journeys as a people and as individuals searching for meaning in our lives.
The main purpose of Mikvah is sanctification and purification. Since Biblical times, immersion in living waters has enabled Jews to mark major transitions in their lives. A Mikvah must contain 757 litres or 200 gallons of water. A percentage of the water must come from a natural source either rainwater or water from a natural body such as a lake. The water must be still and not flow.
The water from the natural source is not treated. It flows through a tube to make one body for ritual purposes. Our Mikvah uses ice sourced from a spring in Coboconk Ontario.
For centuries, women have gone to the Mikvah each month after the end of their menstrual cycle (Niddah). They also go after giving birth. In the traditional community, returning home from Mikvah allows the couple to resume marital relations.
There are many other reasons for individuals to visit the Mikvah to mark times of transition and transformation.