The Ritual Bath
"Mikveh" / "mikvah" (pl.
"Mikvaot") literally means "a gathering of waters" and it involves the
concepts of "T'umah" (ritual impurity) and "Taharah" (ritual purity). Use of
the mikveh is not about personal hygiene. That should come before the use of
Within the Jewish Community in
Berlin there are two mikvaot:
Joachimstaler Strasse 13
Next to the Orthodox synagogue
in the Joachimsthaler Strasse is a traditional mikveh. The water for this is
pumped out of the ground from a depth of 42 metres.
Please contact the
Administration of Jewish Community Berlin (Kultusverwaltung) on
030-88028-128 for the use of this mikveh.
The Mikve behind the synagogue
at Oranienburger Strasse 29 also conforms to all the traditional standards
in other words, it is a kosher mikveh. This mikve is being used by a wide
variety of groups from all streams of Judaism.
Apart from the traditional
occasions for use (e.g. before a wedding, for the regular family purity, or
after a birth) this mikveh is also open for those
whose want to use the mikveh as a preparation for Shabbat or the Jewish
Mikwah in Oranienburger Strasse
During the last 20 years Jewish women have
created new rituals mainly connected with the changes in life e.g. "Brit
Banot" (the naming of girls), the onset of menstrual periods and the
menopause, and in connection with the management of diverse crises and
transitions in life, such as the healing process after a severe illness, a
miscarriage, or rape.
A group of women volunteers runs this
mikve. At the moment it is open once a week, and by appointment.
Please contact this group via
Both mikvaot are also available if required
for the kashering of crockery.
A Mikvah for Feminists
by Charlotte E. Fonrobert