Stories from Within: Rabbi Bier
Updated: Jun 13, 2018
Rabbi Naftoly Bier, Rosh Kollel of Boston
Why I support the New Boston Mikvah
The mitzvah of mikvah, family purity life, is the foundation of the Jewish family both enabling one to transcend what is usually a selfish, hedonistic act and to create the true Torah principle – that a husband and wife create the dynamic of “becoming one flesh.” (Genesis Chapter 2, 24)
The Talmud further instructs us that by a husband and wife separating for a period of time every month, it brings a longing for one another akin to getting married each month. By being prohibited from physical contact, it allows, and more so causes, that one views their spouse not as an object of sensuality, but as a person of dignity and nobility. This is to appreciate the gift their partner brings and to focus on creating an inseparable bond absorbing each other as part of their own person.
In turn, intimacy then is a lofty, elevating, inspiring experience that Hashem has gifted us, a physical act which engenders the oneness that is the plan and purpose of marriage, sublimating a physical act into a spiritual one. Mikvah serves as a metaphysical channel to create this. Personally, the mitzvah of mikvah resonates in our family due to an amazing story. My great grandparents resided in a small town in Switzerland. When they got married, my great grandfather had a mikvah built, inviting anyone within six hours distance to use the mikvah and he provided free room and board at the house he built especially for this purpose.
After a period of two years more than two hundred women were using the mikvah, and my great grandfather, noticed that they weren’t coming monthly. He surmised that they couldn’t afford the rail pass every month, so he personally sent every women a ticket monthly.
My grandmother, who with her husband gave millions of dollars of charity, believe that her father’s sensitivity to shalom bayit (peace of the home) is what merited her to have a family of countless Torah observant Jews.
The new Boston mikvah has been used for years, and is at a pivotal time where it needs to be updated to elevate mikvah usage. A beautiful, modern mikvah will help those who find this mitzvah challenging. Please join the campaigns efforts and be a part of this important legacy for New England. It will bring you much bracha for your family.