Through the generosity of Louise & Mel Eskanos, Temple Shalom has its own mikvah! While many people may be unfamiliar with a mikvah, this ritual bath is an important and exciting benefit to Temple Shalom members. A mikvah looks similar to a small swimming pool, however, there are many laws, customs and traditions associated with it. The mikvah has several purposes and has been an integral part of Jewish practice for thousands of years.
There are three basic areas where immersion in a mikvah is prescribed by Jewish tradition:
- Immersion for women after menstruation so that she and her husband may have intimate relations again.
- Immersion as an aspect of conversion to Judaism.
- Immersions of pots, dishes and other eating utensils to render them "Kosher."
Previously, the closest available mikvah for our use was in Denver. This was extremely inconvenient for those who used the mikvah on a regular basis or who were undergoing conversion to Judaism. While it is uncommon for a non-orthodox synagogue to own its own mikvah, there is a growing interest among progressive and liberal Jews throughout the country to begin to incorporate the mikvah experience into their Jewish practice. What a wonderful mitzvah! Our congregation is grateful and has been blessed by the generosity of the Louise and Mel Eskanos.
Temple Shalom's mikvah is available for congregational use. If you would like more information about incorporating the mikvah into your life or would like to schedule a visit, contact the Temple Shalom Office.