The mikveh is a ritual bath designed to purify and spiritually cleanse. In fact, prior to immersion we must cleanse ourselves thoroughly. And then the focus is on the spiritual aspect of this ritual. Let’s look at the preparation and physical aspect, as it might lend insight into enhancement of the spiritual experience.
The mitzvah of dipping in the mikveh is one of the very few mitzvot in which our whole body participates. It is a physical immersion that requires careful attention and preparation by cleaning the entire body, with attention to the smallest of details such as behind the ears and finger/toenails. We shower and clean our skin.
Skin, our largest organ, covers, protects, and serves as a barrier. Because it is porous, it also has the power to absorb. It reflects the overall state of our health and wellbeing, which is why it is vital to treat our skin with proper care.
My heightened attention to proper skin care began a short while back with a quest to find a natural face cleanser to help my teen daughter’s acne-prone skin before resorting to prescription medication. Discouraged with the products I found on the market, I decided to create my own, and tweaked a face soap recipe until I created a bar that worked. It really worked! So much so that my daughter gave samples to her friends, and lo and behold, it also worked for them. Being a firm believer in sharing something good, I decided to take it to the next level, creating and selling all-natural, handcrafted soaps. This ties well into my commitment to health and wellness, to which I have devoted my professional life as a psychologist and yoga teacher. [Read more…]