About the Mikveh
Immersion in a mikveh, or ritual bath, represents a spiritual transformation. The world’s natural bodies of water—its oceans, rivers, wells and spring-fed lakes—qualify as mikvehs (mikva’ot). However, when an indoor mikveh is built there are many specific considerations to take into account, and these details are described in several places in the Torah. The mikveh at Beth El was built in the 1980s and renovated in 2014.
Mikveh (ritual bath) immersion is an ancient practice that honors the sacred nature of our experiences and our bodies. Immersions can mark life transitions such as weddings, births, healing from illness or trauma, significant birthdays, b’nai mitzvah, divorce, pregnancy loss, fertility struggles, and mourning.
- Contact us to set a day and time for your immersion with a mikveh guide. Immersion appointments can be made at any time except Shabbat, and are pending on the availability of your selected guide. All of our immersions are by appointment only. In the comment section on the Inquiry Form, please let us know your preferred date and time.
At the Mikvah:
- You will meet the Mikveh Guide in the reception room of the mikvah via the Soul Center entrance.
- You can pay the Mikveh Guide for your immersion; no tips are accepted by the guides.
- Before entering the room, you’ll have a chance to introduce yourself to your Mikveh Guide. The Mikveh Guide is there to support you and facilitate your immersion as you wish. You can share as much or as little of your story as you’d like, and together you can create an immersion ritual.
- A suggested practice is to say one kavannah, intention, before immersing. You can say something from your heart or choose something from one of the pre-written rituals. Some people just say something they want to experience in the mikveh. Your guide can also read something for you, if you’d like.
- You can also frame your immersion with the following:
- Before the first dunk: Think about where are you coming from/what do you hope to leave behind in the mikveh waters.
- Before the second dunk: Think about where you are now.
- Before the third dunk: Think about where you hope to move forward to/what you hope to take out of the mikveh with you.
- You can choose to go in the mikveh room with your guide, friends or family, or alone. If you go in alone, the Mikveh Guide will stand in the hallway behind a curtain but in audible distance from you.
In the Preparation Room:
- Once you’ve decided what the immersion will consist of, you will go into your private preparation room to undress, bathe, and spiritually prepare yourself for immersion. The preparation rooms are very comfortable and have everything you would need—robe, towels, combs, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, contact lens solution, bathtub, shower, hair dryers, etc. If you have specific toiletries you would like to use, you are welcome to also bring those along.
- When you’re ready, you can put on the robe or towel in the preparation room and meet your Mikveh Guide at the door. You will then walk down a short hallway together to the mikveh.
In the Mikveh:
- If your Mikveh Guide is with you, they will hold your robe or towel as you go down the steps into the water. They will hold the towel in front of their eyes, so they are not seeing you undressed.
- When you are ready, immerse. It is an option to have your guide say “kosher” when you emerge to indicate that you were fully under water after each immersion. If they are confirming this for you, they will lower the towel only when hearing the water splash.
- It is customary to immerse three times, but you can do it however many times you’d like. You or your guide can say something each time or you can immerse in silence or song. Before your last time, it is suggested to say an intention for what you want to either leave behind or take with you or any other kind of blessing you desire.
- Once you are finished immersing, you can stay in the mikveh for as long as you like. Your guide can leave you alone or stay in the room – let them know which you prefer. When you are ready to get out, your guide can help you back into your towel or robe and walk you back to the preparation room. Take the time you need as transition is a precious opportunity for holiness.