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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
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The Mikveh For Men


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I attend a Tanya shiur (lesson) every Sunday evening at the Chabad House of Queens. At 9:30 p.m., we daven Maariv.

A few weeks ago, as I was leaving to go home, I happened to notice the many volumes of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Igrot Kodesh (letters written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe). I picked out a volume at random and opened it. I asked an elderly Lubavitcher man there to read to me the Rebbe’s letter.

The letter was dated June 5, 1984. It was written to a Chassid regarding the importance building mikvehs for every community. The Rebbe explained the measurements of the mikveh and spoke about how one should concentrate on the mitzvah of mikveh while immersing.

The elderly Lubavitcher looked at me and asked, “What do you have to do with mikvehs?”

I told him that I usually do not immerse in a mikveh. I closed the book, put it back on the shelf, and went home.

On Friday mornings, I usually daven at the 7:30 a.m. minyan at the Young Israel of Hillcrest. On my way out, my wife asked me not to forget to buy the challahs for Shabbat. That morning, I happened to take a different route to buy the challahs. As I drove past the community mikveh, I suddenly remembered that about five months before, my wife had given me several new dishes to tovel (immerse) in the mikveh. They had been in the trunk of the car all this time.

I parked the car, took the dishes and proceeded to the dish mikveh. I said the blessing, immersed the dishes, and packed up, preparing to leave. As I was leaving, I happened to glance at the men’s mikveh on the other side of the building. The water was crystal clear and I could smell the freshness of the towels near the wall.

I suddenly felt the urge to stay and immerse in the mikveh. The experience was exhilarating, holy, and uplifting.

Afterwards, I went on to shop for the challahs and drove home.

Since then, I frequent the mikvah at every opportunity I get – thanks to that evening when I picked up the Rebbe’s Igros and my soul became bound up with the mitzvah of mikveh!

May we all continue to learn Torah and observe mitzvot till the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

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