In the winter of 2012, at the initiative of the balanit from Mitzpe Hoshaya, I composed two prayers for ritual immersion in the mikveh: “Prayer for a Woman prior to Immersion in the Mikveh” and “Prayer for a Woman following Immersion in the Mikveh”.
The texts of these prayers are available here for downloading and use. These prayers are directed to contemporary Jewish women: religious, traditional and secular alike. In this connection, it should be mentioned that immersion in the mikveh is prevalent in growing numbers among women who don’t identify themselves as Orthodox.
The prayers draw upon a variety of Jewish sources. To mention but one example, there is a tradition appearing in midrashic sources according to which the foremothers immersed in the mikveh, and this element is incorporated in the “Prayer for a Woman prior to Immersion in the Mikveh”.
It is also interesting to mention in this connection that there was a tradition in Hevron that pointed to the well in which Sarah Immenu immersed. Several medieval Jewish travelers to the Land of Israel were introduced to this tradition during their visit to Hevron, and they documented it in their travel accounts.
The prayers for immersion presented here express concepts appropriate for our generation: they contain a request for male and female offspring alike; they focus on purity rather than on of impurity; they include a prayer for immersing in water emanating from Miriam’s well, which according to Jewish sources will spring forth and flow under the threshold of the Temple; and they contain petitions pertaining to current social issues.
Among the significant influences on the prayers, many specific sources can be pointed to, but in several places there is a clear influence from “Likkutei Tefillot”, by Rabbi Nathan, foremost disciple of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav.
The passage that concludes “Prayer for a Woman prior to Ritual Immersion in the Mikveh” expresses the hope for the renewal of Miriam’s well, which will spring forth from beneath the threshold of the Temple, as mentioned above. I look forward in anticipation to the day when all the daughters of Israel will immerse in waters emanating from Miriam’s well.
The prayers can be found on the Eden Center website: http://theedencenter.com/resources/