Myths About Mikvah

Myths About Mikvah
Myth: It's degrading to women

The truth is: Any woman who practices the laws of mikvah knows that it is an ELEVATING experience. That which is degrading to woman comes from the base exploitation of her as a sex symbol. By practicing the Torah traditions pertaining to Jewish intimacy, the relationship between the Jewish woman and her husband becomes sanctified. Their marriage is a model of true LOVE AND RESPECT.

Myth: My husband will never understand

The truth is: The precepts of Jewish intimacy are easily understood. A Jewish husband can appreciate that the use of mikvah and the discipline associated with it helps produce a husband-wife relationship that is in a state of continuous renewal. The honeymoon never ends; the attraction remains as strong as the day the couple met. But before any subject can be understood there must be exposure to it in a relevant and meaningful way.

Myth: I can use my bathtub

The truth is: Bathtubs provide a place for getting physically clean. But if you want to use a bathtub to become spiritually fit-it wouldn't help a bit. For that you need a mikvah. A mikvah must have as its direct source natural living water, such as fresh spring water, rainwater or even melted snow. Just as the Torah itself is compared to living waters, so does it specify that a mikvah, in order to be kosher, must be filled with living waters that are collected in a special way.

Myth: They are dark and dirty places

The truth is: Modern, elegant mikvahs are becoming the rule. Its ritual pool and genuine rainwater storage tanks are kept under strict hygienic control insuring that the water remains clean and clear. The preparation rooms are immaculate and spa-like. Mikvahs are built in compliance with the highest halachik and aesthetic standards.

Myth: Everyone will know I went

The truth is: No one will know if or when you go to the mikvah except you and your husband. Of course, the mikvah attendant will be there to assist you, but she knows how to keep a secret. The point is that the mikvah experience is an extremely private one. You will use the mikvah and prepare in total privacy. Far from being a public spectacle, the Jewish woman who goes to the mikvah is the epitome of modesty and refinement. And has been that way for nearly 4,000 years.

Myth: I don't keep Shabbos, so why should I go to the Mikvah?

The truth is: Every mitzva a Jew does brings its own blessings to himself and the whole world. Especially the mitzvot pertaining to Jewish intimacy. Through observing these eternal laws, the Jewish husband and wife maintain mutual respect, essential to any good marriage. This is the secret that has avoided so many problems and has built beautiful Jewish families for thousands of years. Rather than considering one's lack of other Torah observances as a deterrent to mikvah, consider this as a practical place to begin.

Myth: The burden is all on the woman

The truth is: Going to the mikvah is a total family commitment, meaning that both husband and wife are equally involved in the discipline of Jewish intimacy. And both reap the benefits of a relationship that is forever renewed, and a marriage that is uniquely stable. But, yes, when it comes to mikvah, the control factor is given to the woman. Hers is the final responsibility because G-d trusts her. And for more than 3,000 years she has proven herself to be worthy of that trust.

Myth: None of my friends use it

The truth is: When a Jewish woman goes to the mikvah, her friends shouldn't know. Only her husband and the mikvah attendant know. The entire experience is extremely private and dignified. So there's no way to know for sure that your friends don't go. Some of them may very well use the mikvah. In fact, using the mikvah is so private, even your mother might have gone. And you never knew.

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