My Dear Bride

In a few hours you’re going to be walking down the aisle of your chuppah. What you are really asking Hashem is to bless the marriage between you and your husband, and to bless your new home. With money you could buy a  house, but you need God’s blessing to turn your house into a home. This is really what it means to walk under the chuppah, it is to ask Hashem to become a partner in your union and to be able to feel Hashem’s blessing everywhere you go. Really it means to make your home like a mikdash, a small holy temple. 

If your house is a small temple, you have to know that the most important person in the holy temple was the Kohen Gadol, the high priest, who worked there, along with all the other konanim. His job was mainly to light the menorah on a daily basis. The kohanim were also the ones who used to bring the korbanot, the sacrifices, in the temple. There are specific korbanot that can only be brought by the Kohen Gadol. The word korban, comes from the Hebrew word karov, which means close. Through korbanot, we, the Jews, were able to get closer to Hashem. The third thing that was done was to bring the l’echem hapanim (showbread), to the special table that was made to display it.

 If we look deeply, these special gifts that God gave to the Kohen Gadol, are really the three gifts that God gives to every woman. We are the one who brings light into our home by lighting Shabbat candles and yom tov candles. The blessing of the home, of bounty, is also given to the woman. This is the bracha of challah. Every ingredient in your challah represents an ingredient of life. The flour that comes from the ground represents all the physical materials that we need. The water from heaven represents all the spiritual needs. Every ingredient that goes into the challah bowl is an ingredient for life. That basically all comes from the merit of the woman. The third and most holy duty of the Kohen Gadol were the korabanot, to bring closeness between the Jews and Hakadosh Baruch Hu (the holy one).

How do we do this as a Jewish women? This is our mitzvah of mikveh. After a woman immerses herself in the waters of the mikveh, when she comes out of the water her whole entire body has been touched by those magic waters. Now anything you are touching is a home. Anywhere you’re going to is your home and you bring that holiness with you. So really, if you think about it, God chose us, the Jewish woman, to be the Kohen Gadol of our own home. We have exactly the job of the high priest. 

The Kohen Gadol also had another special gift and duty. He was the one that was invited to enter the Kodesh Hakodashim, holy of holies, on the day of Yom Kippur, at the time of neilah. Just picture it for a minute, the holiest person on earth, in the holiest place on earth, at the holiest time of the year. All the holiness combined together, this is the gift that Hashem gives to every woman that enters the water of the mikveh. You are in the place of the Kohen Gadol. You are the holiest person on earth, in the holiest place, at the holiest time. This is exactly what the time of mikveh is all about. The  woman inside of the water of a mikveh is compared to the Kohen Gadol inside the Kodesh Hakodashim at the time of neilah. This is why the woman is so special and so holy and we should feel so close to Hashem.