To the uninitiated, a modern-day mikvah looks like a miniature swimming pool. In a religion rich with detail, beauty and ornamentation—against the backdrop of the ancient Temple or even contemporary synagogues—the mikvah is surprisingly nondescript, a humble structure.
Its ordinary appearance, however, belies its primary place in Jewish life and law. The mikvah offers the individual, the community and the nation of Israel the remarkable gift of purity and holiness. No other religious establishment, structure or rite can affect the Jew in this way and, indeed, on such an essential level. Its extraordinary power, however, is contingent on its construction in accordance with the numerous and complex specifications as outlined in halachah, Jewish law. More…
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