Jewish Learning & Lifecycle with Reb Zisha

Explore Jewish tradition and practice

Reb Zisha

By the way, you don't need a "mikveh" to "do mikveh".
The late great Frank Zappa reminds us, "
The Ocean is the Ultimate Solution."

Diving Into Mikveh™ is a trademark of Step 1 Ventures. All content © 2011 Step 1 Ventures. All rights reserved.

Diving Into Mikveh™: An Experiential Workshop for Jewish Men

“Perhaps the great reclaiming of mikveh can only happen
when men as well as women return to it.”
Professor Rachel Adler (USC, HUC)

For upcoming Diving Into Mikveh sessions, click here.

 Mikveh (ritual immersion) is not just for the ladies!

A man must immerse in the mikveh as the final step in becoming Jewish by choice. Beyond that, other than in the most observant communities, mikveh is not a prevalent custom for men. Even then, men generally only immerse pre-marriage or pre-Shabbat/festival.

Precisely because mikveh is not required for men, it is available as a physical, non-verbal, non-intellectual, authentically Jewish way to commemorate other transitions: personal life changes (divorce, “empty nest”, major birthday), academic or professional junctures, health-related circumstances, almost anything. Where available, mikveh is becoming more and more popular among men of all denominations.

 But what is mikveh all about?  What is involved in going? How does one prepare physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually? And what do you do in there all by yourself?

 Diving Into Mikveh introduces mikveh as a concept and as a practice. Beyond words on paper, Diving Into Mikveh literally immerses you in a new way to mark life transitions, and can foster more meaningful communication and relationships between the men in your own community, and potentially with men in other Jewish communities. This renewed way to connect within a Jewish framework can also help address the “gender gap.”

What happens at Diving Into Mikveh? We gather at a water source that has been reserved for our private exclusive use. We sing, laugh, get to know each other, introduce the concept of mikveh, encounter text sources and ancient use of the ritual, examine halachah (Jewish law), and discuss the renewed use of mikveh by men. Then, we immerse and support each other's brachot and kavanot (blessings and intentions.)

I created Diving Into Mikveh after becoming a Mikveh Guide at Mayyim Hayyim/Living Waters Mikveh and Community Education Center and seeing the value mikveh can have for men. I base Diving Into Mikveh on my own experiences in the mikveh, as a ba’al tefillah, instructional designer, technical trainer, and in Jewish men’s work.

All Jewish men 18 years and older are welcome. No major life transtion required.  As The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy advises, bring a towel.

Looking forward to diving in with you!