Ask Rabbi Dan
Dear Rabbi Dan,
I have always been confused as to the religious use of the
Mikvah. I was once told that it is to cleanse the woman after she experiences
her monthly period, and also just before she is to be married. But then I
discovered that orthodox men also use the Mikvah for cleansing. Could you please
explain the exact significance of the practice of the Mikvah?
The Mikveh serves, primarily, as a vessel for spiritual
cleansing. By immersing oneself, all the impurities brought on by living in the
material world are removed and the person becomes spiritually pure. In the case
of women after their menstrual cycle, the Mikveh serves as the re-freshening
well of purity that allows her to engage in sexual activity with her husband.
Furthermore, the separation and abstinence from sexual relations during the
cycle makes each post-cycle a "new" experience for the couple; a renewed
dedication of their bond of love.
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