The Jewish communities of Rhinebeck and the surrounding towns in Dutchess County, New York are celebrating the historic opening of a luxurious new Mikvah.
The new Mei Rechel Mikvah is a luxurious, spa-type ritual bath, dedicated by the late Mr. Avraham Rappaport obm of Toronto, Canada, in memory of his late wife, Mrs. Rechel Rappaport obm.
Polish-born Rechel Rubin emigrated to America as a teenager with some members of her family shortly after World War ll. She married Mr. Avraham Rappaport and settled in Toronto, Canada. The Rappaports were one of the founding members of the Toronto Chabad community, and were well-known for showing outstanding hospitality.
Many Rabbanim such as the Rashag only trusted the Kashrus in their home. Mr. and Mrs. Rappaport raised a family of Chassidim, and Shluchim. They merited a very close relationship to the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
While the new Mikvah was generously supported by many community members, it was the outstanding generosity of Mr. Avraham Rappaport that allowed Mei Rechel to be completed in both timely and luxurious fashion.
The mikvah is a spa-like bath in which a married woman immerses in order to reach a state of spiritual purity. A few generations ago, the observance of this mitzvah fell widely into disuse and was observed only in very religious communities. With the proliferation of luxurious new Mikvahs around the US, this custom is experiencing a rapid resurgence among Jewish women of all backgrounds.
According to Jewish law, the construction of a Mikvah takes precedence even over that of a synagogue, as it’s considered to be indispensable to Jewish family life.
“The founding of a new Mikvah in Rhinebeck NY is a response to a growing commitment among women to Jewish family life” said Mrs. Tzivie Hecht, co-director of the Rhinebeck Jewish Center, “we’re really proud to be part of this moment.”