A young woman recently came to the mikvah as a bride. Her mother and sister accompanied her, and after her immersion they shared a lechaim and some personal heart-to-heart thoughts. Her mom mentioned that she had not been afforded the opportunity to go to the mikvah as a bride as her Rabbi only told her the concept of mikvah a few days before her wedding day. She had never before been to the mikvah!
Inspired by her daughter’s excitement and deep appreciation of this mitzvah, she agreed to get together for a one-on-one outline of the laws of Taharat Hamishpacha. She prepared for her mikvah appointment with dedication and applied herself to all the details as she knew it would be the first and last time she could fulfill this mitzvah. With her tevilah, her two daughters recommitted themselves to continuing to frequent the mikvah and there was a general energy in the family that surrounded a mother and her two daughters embracing the mitzvah.
The husband and father of these women one day expressed that he, too, wanted to be attached to something spiritual. That’s when he made a decision to begin to put on Tefillin.
Two years ago Great Park Mikvah Maayan Ganim – built in memory of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg A”H – opened its doors in Johannesburg, South Africa. Opponents to the project argued that a maximum of 2-3 women might use the Mikvah and that it wasn’t, in their opinion, worth the cost. At present over 100 women are, in fact, using the Mikvah. The Rebbe’s Mivtzah Taharas Hamishpocho has inspired creativity and excitement in presenting Taharat Hamishpacha to every Jewish woman, and the Great Park Synagogue community has seen firsthand how this mitzvah continues to be a powerful opportunity to engage families and foster growth in all areas of their Yiddishkeit.
After the initial opening of the mikvah, creative ways had to be found to continue to engage the community in learning about this mitzvah. A website – www.greatmikvah.com – was set up and a newsletter was launched to share inspirational thoughts. The annual women’s spa-day features prominent speakers including women in the community who have recently embraced mikvah and many other mitzvos. Part of the spa-day morning includes pampering sessions (massage, make-up, nails etc.) which take place in the mikvah building, ensuring that more and more women see the mikvah.
Many women who previously did not know about mikvah or did not know how it could become a part of their lives have come to learn. It became apparent that women who had not revisited the mikvah in many years or older women who had never been to the mikvah at all, appreciated a short session or two outlining the basic process required for a kosher tevillah. A short PowerPoint Presentation was created for this purpose. Women have been encouraged to invite small groups of women into their home for a mikvah review presentation. Many individuals have asked to learn one-on-one. The visual presentation has been a useful tool guiding the discussion about mikvah.
Thus was born “A GUIDE TO TEACHING MIKVAH: A VISUAL PRESENTATION & TEACHERS MANUAL” which will be available to Shluchos at the Kinus resource fair. This publication is endorsed by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Rabbonim and Shluchos worldwide.
To view sample slides, please visit http://www.greatmikvah.com/#!teaching-tools/c1p00.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.