Parsha Insights

Where Biblical law and Torah tale is brought vividly to life

Concepts

The Jewish perspective on topical and controversial subjects

Life Cycle

Probing for meaning in our journey and its milestones.

Yearly Cycle

Discover depth and mystique in the annual Jewish festivals

Rabbi’s Desk

Seeking life’s lessons in news items and current events

Home » Family Life

Family Life: The Mikvah

Submitted by on November 6, 2005 – 4:05 amNo Comment | 3,188 views

Water from the Garden of Eden

Immersion in a Mikvah, a ritual pool of water, releases man from
his imperfect state. When we emerge from the Mikvah we are reborn; the
imperfections and impurities of the past evaporate and we are permeated
with a fresh sense of renewal.



The Torah tells
us of a river that flowed through the Garden of Eden. The Midrash tells
us that all waters in the world derive their spiritual sustenance from
the river that flowed through Eden.




Immersed in the
Mikvah, we reconnect with the spiritual source of water, the “Eden”
state of perfection. Within the Mikvah we temporarily re-enter the
Garden of Eden. Though we later emerge back into the world of
imperfection we are better equipped to face it.

Water the Giver and Taker of life

Water was the
fist life-giving element that G-d introduced to the world. “And the
spirit of G-d fluttered upon the face of the water” (Genesis 1: 2).




On the second
day of creation, G-d split the water into two realms, the upper realm,
and the lower realm. Mystics see these two realms as two domains, the
male domain, and the female domain. When male and female come together
they stir the beginnings of life.




When the egg
fertilizes and life stirs the womb fills with amniotic fluid (water).
When we plant, the soil must fill with water; when we thirst, we drink
water. Water is the giver of life.




Water is also
the end cycle of life. When we submerge ourselves into water we place
ourselves into a lifeless environment. We either drown or come up for
air.




The act of
immersion into the Mikvah water has a conflicting duality of effects.
On the one hand we are in a state of nonexistence, of non-life, for it
is an environment in which we cannot survive.




On the other
hand it also breathes new life into us, for water is the source of all
life. In effect we close the chapter on our previous life and allow the
water to breathe into us a completely new dimension of life.




We submerge with
the blemishes and impurities of our past and emerge reinvigorated with
a new lease on life. It cleanses the imperfection of the previous life
and introduces a new, fresh and perfect existence




It is an
experience that hovers between life and death; it purifies, renews, and
refreshes. Now we are ready to go forth and resume relations with our
spouse for we are ready to bring the perfection of the Divine into our
lives.