Lexington Miqvah Foundation

Our mission is to build a small, attractive, egalitarian, kosher miqvah facility in the Central Kentucky area. We want to be able to enjoy the convenience of a local facility to observe mitzvot and to commemorate both private and public lifestyle events, broaden our spirituality, and connect with our ancestors in an unbroken line of observance stretching back to antiquity - and on into the future!

We wish to participate in the growing spiritual trend that is sweeping the nation to reclaim and reinvent one of Judaism's most ancient rituals - immersion in the miqvah - for contemporary spiritual use. We will teach about this resource for all men and women who are interested in new ways to express their individuality, and make the miqvah a sacred space that is open and accessible to all Jews including Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Unaffiliated, and Secular, including those in the process of becoming Jews.

In order to fulfill this mission, we have these goals in mind:

1. Provide a welcoming, beautiful place for traditional and creative miqvah uses.
2. Foster new ceremonial uses for the miqvah relevant to the 21st century Jewish community.
3. Provide information and accessible hours for those observing the mitzvah of niddah.
4. Recognize and promote the unique interests of men and women in traditional and contemporary miqvah practice.
5. Provide educational resources (both classes and teaching materials) regarding the uses of the miqvah.
6. Secure the financial future of the facility by operating in a fiscally responsible manner and through such means as debt avoidance, annual fund, and endowment development.

The Bluegrass area has been without a community miqvah for many years now. Join the Lexington Miqvah Foundation in this historic opportunity to being both tradition and a modern spiritual practice back to the area.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

For those interested in the Orthodox view

There has been an ongoing webinar series on the Orthodox practice of family purity. There is one webinar left in the live series, but afterward all of the webinars will be posted for viewing after the fact. I apologize for not posting this in time for anyone to view all the webinars live. By the time I got around to working on updating this blog, most of the classes had already finished.

Of course, the Orthodox practice is not for everyone. The written Torah commands that a woman and her husband must "separate" for 7 days, counting from the day she beings her monthly cycle. That is, they should sleep apart and not have marital relations. At nightfall the 7th day, the woman immerses in the miqvah and can then go about business as usual. That is the written commandment.

In cases where a woman has some sort of infection or illness, miscarriage or other injury that causes her to bleed for a longer time than seven days, the written commandment was to wait until the sickness was over and then count seven "clean" days, at which point she can immerse.

The all male Orthodox Rabbinate has decided that women aren't smart enough to tell when they are having a regular period and when they are injured or sick, so they require every women to follow the more onerous schedule. This means if you are a woman who has had children and your period usually lasts for 6 or 7 days (which is normal), then you must add another 7 days and go 13+ days sleeping apart from your husband. They have developed a complicated calendar system of deciphering when a woman is about to start her cycle and how to count the extra days until they say it is over.

Most non-Orthodox women do not agree with the lengthier requirement, to say the least. In Conservative Judaism, most women who practice monthly miqvah immersion follow the written commandment, not the Orthodox practice. However, Conservative Judaism has as one of its tenants that the Oral Law of the Rabbinate is legal and binding upon all Jews. It is good to know the official "party line" even if you have no intention of being so stringent in your own practice. And if you do want to adopt the Orthodox practice, there are links to the right side of this page under the heading "Resources" which can guide you.

The Lexington Miqvah Society takes the position that it is a personal decision.

But if you are interested in studying the Orthodox methodology, here is an excerpt from the email listing the upcoming webinar date and links to find the previous webinars online:

Married? This One’s For You!

Participate in a six-part Taharas Hamishpacha Review series created for the Chabad worldwide community. All classes will be held in Crown Heights at the Rubashkin residence, 1349 President Street - and will air simultaneously via a live web feed - beginning Monday, January 23, 2012 at 8:15 PM. Classes will run for five consecutive Mondays thereafter, same time and same location, for a total of six classes. Each class is complete in itself, how many you attend is up to you. Attending all is a gift to yourself and your family.

Course Schedule:

...Monday February 27, 2012:

Keeping A Distance – The laws of harchokos. Presented by Mrs. Sara Morosow

Questions may be submitted in writing and will be addressed at the end of each session. Sessions are free, donations are welcomed!

Email events@mikvah.org to sign up and receive instructions to log on to the live web feed.

Please note that registration will be closed at noon the day of each session. Your full name, email address and telephone number are required for log on to each session.

This Taharas Hamishpacha Review Course will be available for online viewing at Mikvah.org once the technicalities have been taken care of and after review by presenters and Rabbonim. Those who are unable to join in the live feed will be able to view it at that time. Please check mikvah.org for updates.

Education is a good thing. It's always good to know every side of an issue. We should not be afraid to learn and to discuss issues of Jewish practice. Studying the old ways can help us learn the reasoning for doing things that way and knowing the rationale, we can then better incorporate parts of the traditional practice that have value for us in our personal spiritual journey.


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