In the winter of 2012, at the request of a mikveh attendant from Mizpeh Hoshaya, I composed two prayers for immersion; the first: tefillah for a woman before a ritual immersion and the second, “a prayer for a woman after a ritual immersion.” These prayers have been printed several times in recent years.
Below are the prayers for you to download and use. These tefillot (for tevillah) are meant for a range of women who use the mikveh in the contemporary Jewish world: religious, traditional and secular. As is well known, immersion is becoming increasingly common, even among women who do not categorize themselves as strictly observant. In this respect, the prayers can be defined as contemporary communal (Israeli) prayers.
These prayers are based on a variety of sources (including things just hinted at in the sources), as is customary in the formulation of prayers. For example, there is a tradition that is mentioned in midrashic sources, according to which the four mothers immersed for purification. And there was a tradition in Hebron that pointed to a well where our mother Sarah was said to have immersed for purification. A series of Jewish travelers who arrived in Palestine in the Middle Ages were introduced to this tradition during their stay in Hebron, and they documented it in their travel books.
These prayers for immersion utilize concepts that are appropriate for our generation, such as the equal request to give birth to boys and girls, a focus on the motif of purification rather than that of impurity (as is found in the prayers that were written in the past); a request to dip in the water of Miriam the prophetess, which according to the sources will rise and flow under the threshold of the Temple; and requests pertaining to current-day social issues. I tried to ensure that the prayers would be neither too long long nor too cumbersome. Among the significant influences on them, that of Rabbi Nathan, a disciple of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, is perhaps most influential.
The concluding passage of the “Prayer for a woman before the mikveh” expresses hope for the renewal of Miriam’s well, which as stated, will rise and emanate from beneath the threshold of the Mikdash. We look forward to the day when all the daughters of Israel will immerse in water that comes from Miriam’s well.
The prayers can be found on the Eden Center website: http://theedencenter.com/resources/