Ceremony of Tevilah
Found In: Conversion
By Rabbi Jeffrey A. Marx | Reading
We are gathered here today to serve as witnesses, as representatives of the Jewish people, as friends and family, to be with you as you enter the waters of the mikvah.
In our tradition, water has always played a pivotal role. There is something elemental about it. Before the world was created, there existed the presence of God hovering over the surface of the water.
Our patriachs and matriachs met at the well, for the source of water was the center of community life. Thus the well marked the promise of new beginnings in their lives.
Water is the symbol of redemption for our People. We recall that waters of the Red Sea parted and allowed us to go forth from bondage into freedom.
Water is also a symbol of sustenance. When the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, God caused a well, Miriam's well it was called, to accompany the people and sustain them with water.
And finally, water in our Rabbinic tradition, represents learning and knowledge. We are taught, that as water brings life to the world, so too the Torah brings life to the world. As water leaves the high places and rests in the low lands, so too the deeper teachings of our religion leave one who is haughty and proud but cleave to one who is lowly and humble.
As you enter the living waters of the mikveh here today, we pray that you continue to immerse yourself in the living waters of our tradition.
As the waters surround you and touch you with their warm embrace, know that the Jewish people embrace you and warmly welcome you into our midst.
May my entry into the waters of the mikveh inspire me and strengthen me in my resolve to enter the ancient and endless stream of Jewish life. May I be among those who will help that stream to continue strong and unbroken.
As you enter the waters in peace, may you emerge as a source of peace to your family, to this congregation, and to the Jewish people.
Giyor(et) enters the mikveh