The Mikvah

The rules regarding the construction of a mikvah are complicated. The immersion itself must take place in a pool which is

· a spring (ma'yan) or a well of naturally occurring water, containing a certain minimum quantity of water, or

· connected in a halakhically prescribed manner to one of the above

Traditionally, the mikvah was used by both men and women for various purposes. Everyone was required to immerse in a mikvah after coming into contact with the dead or other ritually unclean ( tamei mikvah). Metzoroim (individuals affected with a certain skin condition that is unknown today) were required to immerse as part of the ritual followed upon healing, priests were required to immerse before performing certain Temple rites or before eating Terumah.) objects before they could be allowed to eat holy food or enter the Temple in Jerusalem (although to be purified from contact with the dead, sprinkling with the ashes of the Red Heifer was needed prior to immersion in a

Ancient mikvahs dating from Temple times (predating 70 CE) can be found throughout the Land of Israel, as well as in the diaspora.

For more information, follow this link on Mikvah's

Women & the Mikvah:

Tevilah (immersion in a mikvah), for women, is required in contemporary Orthodox Jewish practice in the following circumstances:

(Obligatory in Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism)

1.Following the niddah period after menstruation,prior to resuming marital relations

2. Following the niddah period after childbirth, prior to resuming marital relations

3. By a bride, before the day of her wedding

Men & the Mikvah:

Men are to use the Mikvah:

1. Before a Jewish holiday, according to the custom of some communities

2. Weekly before Shabbat, under Hasidic and Haredi customs

3. Every day (including Shabbat and Holidays), under hasidic and some haredi customs

4. By a bridegroom, on the day of his wedding

5. By a father, prior to the circumcision of his son

6. By a kohen prior to a service in which he will recite the priestly blessing, according to the custom of some communities

Vessels & the Mikvah:

Immersion in a mikvah is required only for utensils that were manufactured or ever owned by a non-Jew. Even those that were previously used without having been immersed still require immersion, after thorough cleaning, and koshering if necessary.

Types of Vessels Requiring Immersion with a blessing:

  1. Vessels of metal or glass made for eating, drinking, cooking, roasting, frying, or heating up water for drinking. (Examples: Correlle dishes, silverware, pots and pans, glazed china, kettle, and those parts of a mixer or blender which come into direct contact with food.)
  2. Utensil is made of two different materials, only one of which requires immersion, immersion is usually required.
  3. Plastic Utensils: It is preferable to immerse plastic items without a blessing.

Utensils that do not require immersion are:

  1. Those made of wood, paper, bone, or unglazed earthenware.
  2. Disposable utensils such as plastic cups or plates which are not fit for long-term use and which one normally discards after using.

Remove any substance that would interfere between the water of the mikvah and the surface of the utensil, such as dirt, rust, stickers, glue from labels, and price markings. Steel wool and/or acetone (nail polish remover) are sometimes needed to remove all traces of surface markings.

Recite the blessing (if applicable):

BA-RUCH A-TAH ADO-NOI ELO-HAI-NU ME-LECH HA'O-LAM A-SHER KID-SHA-NU B'-MITZ-VO-TAV V'TZI-VA-NU AL TE-VI-LAT KE-LI* (*When immersing several items at the same time say KAI-LIM instead of KE-LI).

Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His command­ments, and commanded us concerning the immersion of a vessel (vessels).

Dip each utensil once into the water. Remove your fingers from the utensil so the water can surround it completely. Remove and rinse.