Definitions for mikvah

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. mikvah(noun)

    (Hebrew) a ritual purification and cleansing bath that Orthodox Jews take on certain occasions (as before Sabbath or after menstruation)

Freebase

  1. Mikveh

    Mikveh is a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism. The word "mikveh", as used in the Hebrew Bible, literally means a "collection" – generally, a collection of water. Several biblical regulations specify that full immersion in water is required to regain ritual purity after ritually impure incidents have occurred. A person was required to be ritually pure in order to enter the Temple. In addition, a convert to Judaism is required to immerse in a mikveh as part of the his/her conversion, and a woman is required to immerse in a mikveh after her menstrual period or childbirth before she and her husband can resume marital relations. In this context, "purity" and "impurity" are imperfect translations of the Hebrew "tahara" and "tumah", respectively, in that the negative connotation of the word impurity is not intended; rather being "impure" is indicative of being in a state in which certain things are prohibited until one has become "pure" again by immersion in a mikveh. Full ritual purity of the type needed to enter or serve in the Temple is not attainable by anyone today as we are all considered to be ritually impure by virtue of exposure to death and that kind of ritual purity can only be obtained when the Jewish people have a Red heifer.

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