Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend


63. Baths - Mikvaos

A impure person or utensil (except for earthenware or glass) becomes pure by immersion in [a sufficient quantity of] water that is on the ground, as it says ["And he shall wash all his flesh in water and be impure until evening",1 and it says] "It shall be put into water and shall be impure until evening and become pure".2 (Impure water also becomes pure by contact with such water; but impure food can never become pure unless it becomes unfit for a dog to eat.) The entire person or utensil must be immersed at one time and there must be no significant obstacle that prevents contact between him or it and the water.a

Impure hands become pure either by immersion or by pouring water on them from a container; in either case there must be nothing that prevents contact with the water and all of the hand must be wet at the same time.b

Rabbinically, the immersion must not be in "drawn water", as it says "But a spring or cistern gathering place (mikveh) of water shall be pure"3 -- just as a spring is not man-made, so the water in the cistern cannot be water drawn by man in a container. A man impure because of a running issue can be purified only by immersion in a spring, as it says "[And he shall wash his flesh] in living water [and be clean]".4,c

It is permissible for a person to become impure; a priest and a nazirite are forbidden to come in contact with a corpse, but even they are permitted contact with all other types of impurity. All of the laws regarding purity and impurity are only on account of sacred things; an impure person is forbidden to enter the Temple or to eat sacred food and offerings, but there is no prohibition as regards the non-sacred. Contact with the impure is permissible, as it says "Pure and impure together".5 Nevertheless, it is proper for a pious person to avoid such contact since separation leads to holiness, as it says "And you shall make yourselves holy and be holy, for I am holy".6,d

Sources:

1. Lev. 15:16 a. 1:1-3,7,12; Tumas Ochlin 2:18,21; see Kelim 26:14
2. Lev. 11:32 b. 11:1-2,7; see Berachos 6
3. Lev. 11:36 c. 1:5; 4:2; 6:1-2; 9:8
4. Lev. 15:13 d. Tumas Ochlin 16:8-12
5. Deut. 12:22
6. Lev. 11:44



 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Recognizing the Source of Our Good
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Avraham Initiated The 2000 Years of Torah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

From Egypt to Israel
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

> Redefining Pleasure
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5775

Hey, Hey, Hey!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

The Mind's Eye
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

ArtScroll

Bless You!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

An Uplifting Experience
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Better A Second Time Around
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Avraham Foreshadowed Self-Sacrifice To Make Aliyah
- 5768

Reaching Greatness: Living in the Land of Israel
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775

Cloudy Vision
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Redefining Pleasure
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Avram Lifted Up His Hand...So That You Not Say
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

When Things Don't Go As Planned
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

The Ordeal of Departure
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information