In light of the many requests made by community rabbis, it was decided by the Executive of the Conference of European Rabbis to renew the activity of the Information Bureau on the Mikveh site.
The Mikveh is the foundation of the sanctity of the people of Israel. From time immemorial they have been meticulous in the laws of Mikvaos.
The Mishna in Tractate Yoma: “Rabbi Akiva said, Blessed are you, Israel, before whom you purify, and who purifies you, Your Father in heaven, etc., and says Mikveh Yisrael Hashem what purifies the impure even the Holy One purifies Israel”>
Some ask: Why did Chazal imagine the purity of Israel as a mikveh and not as a spring? Is the spring purifying more than one degree from a Mikvah? We answer that the division between the spring and the Mikvah is that the spring is made by Heaven, and the Mikvah is done by man, and the water comes from heaven.
This indicates that the preoccupation with the purity of Israel is given into the hands of man, and it is a holy obligation to sanctify and take care of the building of Mikvahs from which holiness comes forth to Yisrael.
For generations, community rabbis all over the world were primarily concerned with building a Mikvah in their community, supervised the observance of the Mikveh and added upgrades and regulations to satisfy all opinions, so that the Purity of Yisrael is whole and corrected.
Today, too, it is the holy obligation of the community rabbi´s to be on guard, either by building a new Mikveh, whether by renovating the existing Mikvah or with ongoing maintenance, and to be involved with what happens in the Mikvah. The development of the methods, the construction, the introduction of new construction materials – all this requires a great practical knowledge in the construction of Mikvahs. Even in the old Mikva’ot that were built long ago, there are occasionally repairs and renovations that require supervision and practical technical knowledge.
The Mikvaot Department of the Conference of Rabbis of Europe offers community rabbi’s professional services in the field of ritual baths based on the extensive experience of dozens of Mikvehs throughout Europe and hundreds of ritual baths in the USA.
The department works in cooperation with the Center for Family Purity in the United States, in consultation with the leading authorities in the area of Mikvahs.
In the Mikvah Department, the following services are available:
- Examining the possibility of building a new Mikveh.
- Initial planning and preparation of a proposal for fundraising.
- Detailed planning of the new Mikvah.
- Examination of plans of the local architects, for all stages of construction.
- Accompanying the construction of the Mikvah, including supervision of all stages of building.
- Examination of an existing Mikveh and guidance for renovation and halakhic upgrading.
- Conducting training sessions for women working in the Mikvah.
Details of the Department’s activities in the past year
- Final examination and inauguration of a new Mikvah in Yaroslavl, Russia.
- Supervision of construction of the new Mikvah in Vitebsk – Belarus.
- Final examination and inauguration of a new Mikvah in Pyatigorsk, Russia.
- Examination of old Mikveh in Minsk and a preliminary plan for renovating the Mikvah.
- Initial planning for a Mikveh in Antwerp – Belgium.
- Accompanying the construction of the new mikveh (ritual bath) in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania.
- The initial planning of a mikve in Vilnius (Vilna).
- Planning a new Mikve in Izmir, Turkey.
- Supervision and consultation for restoration of the old Mikvah in Wroclaw, Poland.
We turn to the community rabbis to avail themselves of the services of the Department of Mikvaos of the Conference of European Rabbis.