Why is a Mikvah so important?
A Mikvah is not the same as a Baptistery at a Church. At a Church a person generally is immersed (or sprinkled) only at the time they acknowledge publicly belief in Messiah. A Mikvah on the other hand is used extensively at many times in the person life. It's waters symbolize the waters of the Gan (Garden of) Eden, rebirth, and renewal.
There are many times a Mikvah is used:
* When a person accepts Messiah
* When a person comes into a Biblical (Messianic) Lifestyle
* At Lifecycle events like Bar/Bat Mitzvah, graduation, and marriage
* To symbolize repentance (after doing T'shuvah)
* In preparation for the High Holy Days (espically Yom Kippur)
* After the birth of a child (women)
* After niddah (monthly cycle - women)
* When a former Gentile becomes a Jew (proselytizes)
As you can see from the list above, this can be a very busy place.
The rules for use are simple:
* Schedule an appointment (women call Rabbinit D'vorah, men call Rabbi Gavri'el or Micha'el).
* Bath thoroughly before arriving for the Mikvah
* Arrive with sufficient time
* Some Mikvahs require special blessings that need to be witnessed, make sure you are aware in advance
* Kittels (white thin robes) & towels are provided
* Please use the dressing room adjacent to the Mikvah for dressing, this will prevent water from getting on the carpet
* Prepare both spiritually and mentally, this is a wonderful time with tremendous spiritual significance
If it is your first Mikvah (Baptism is not the same), contact Rabbi or Rabbinit for detailed instructions.
A Mikvah is special and central to maintaining a Jewish or Messianic Jewish Lifestyle. The Rabbi's teach us that a Mikvah is to be built before the Synagogue. A Torah scroll may even be sold the pay for a Mikvah to be built.
We are one of a very few Messianic Synagogues that have a Mikvah. That Adonai has blessed us with such a special symbol is beyond expression.
Fro those coming from a Church back-ground, it may be a little hard to understand why this is so special. Give yourself a little time, and utilize this wonderful gift of G-d, soon you too will understand - Why is a Mikvah so important.
Shalom - Rabbi Gavri'el