Online Calendar To Help Jewish Women's Observance of Mikvah


Online Calendar To Help Jewish Women's Observance of Mikvah

Screenshot of the online calendar.

by Staff Writer - Lubavitch Headquarters

April 30, 2009

(lubavitch.com) An age-old facet of Jewish life, mikvah usage has seen a tremendous upswing in recent years. Today, women observing the rituals of Jewish family laws can dip in 1600 mikvahs around the world, halakhically constructed pools of rainwater that are frequent examples of artful and sensitive design.

Mikvah.org/calendar, a new website launched Wednesday under the auspices of Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters, seeks to demystify the various calculations inherent in maintaining the laws of family purity. These laws, which evolve around a woman's monthly cycle, are complex and intricate. Most brides and women who undertake the mitzvah study the details before marriage, often with a teacher, and employ the use of  a calendar as a tool to observing mikvah.

But for those new to the practice or unfamiliar with the ins and outs, observing these laws can be daunting. “A lot of work and thought went into the site,” explains Project Manager, Chaya Klein. “We based it very much on our experiences working with women around the world, trying to fill the vast lack of knowledge we have found.”

In development since 2004, the new site is based on the organization’s crisp paper calendar. Participants need only to upload their personal information in order for the website to provide detailed calculations. Organizers believe the new system will fill a gap for people who are new to the practice or have forgotten how to compute it. The hope is for people to understand the laws as they are being computed for them. On-call experts  are available in 10 time zones to answer any legal or technical questions.

Mikvah.org/calendar is an offshoot of Mikvah.org, which provides a mikvah directory as well as spiritual and practical advice for half a million global users. The new site is debuting at no charge to participating women and will eventually bear a nominal annual fee. Privacy is assured and plans are underway to have the site translated into other languages.

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