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The Tabernacle Times
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May 2017 .........................Iyyar - Sivan 5777 ......................... Volume 12 Issue 5

History of the Jewish Mikveh

by Dr. Ron Moseley

Rabbi & Brenda
Rabbi Jeremy
& Brenda Storch

 

 


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  The term Mikveh in Hebrew literally means any gathering of waters, but is specifically used in Jewish law for the waters or bath for the ritual immersion. The building of the mikveh was so important in ancient times it was said to take precedence over the construction of a synagogue. Immersion was so important that it occurred before the high Priest conducted the service on the Day of Atonement, before the regular priests participated in the Temple service, before each person entered the Temple complex, before a scribe wrote the name of God, as well as several other occasions.

The New Testament tells us that many of the early church's daily activities were centered around the Temple. Historically, we know that there were many ritual immersion baths (mikvaot) on the Temple Mount including one in the Chamber of Lepers situated in the northwest corner of the Court of Women. Josephus tells us that even during the years of war (66-73 A.D.) the laws of ritual immersion were strictly adhered to (Jos. Wars, 4:205). The Temple itself contained immersion baths in various places for the priests to use, even in the vaults beneath the court. The High Priest had special immersion pools in the Temple, two of which are mentioned in the Mishnah. There was
  an additional place for immersion on the Mount of Olives which was connected with the burning of the red heifer. A special ramp led to the mikveh on the Mount of Olives from the Temple Mount, which was built as an arched way over another arched way to avoid uncleanness from the graves in the valley below. Recent archaeological excavations have found 48 different mikvaot near the Monumental Staircase leading into the Temple Complex.

Tu B’Shevat (Continued on Page 2)

Inside This Month's Issue:

History of the Jewish Mikveh Torah Overview Tabernacle TV
• Home/Most Recent Videos |
• Teachings for Jew & Gentile|
• Shabbat Praise & Worship

• Torah Portions/Studies |
• Music Selections |
• Beit Midrash
• Ariel Yahudah Dancers |
• Plays and Drama
Kosher Korner Coming Events
Torah Portions Be One in a Million
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