Mikvah: Technology to Transform
1 א

ברכות כ,ב

רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן הֲוָה רְגִיל דַּהֲוָה קָא אָזֵיל וְיָתֵיב אַשַּׁעֲרֵי דִטְבִילָה. אֲמַר: כִּי סָלְקָן בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָתְיָין מִטְּבִילָה, מִסְתַּכְּלָן בִּי, וְנֶהֱוֵי לְהוּ זַרְעָא דְּשַׁפִּירֵי כְּווֹתִי

Rabbi Yochanan would go and sit by the entrance to the ritual bath. He said to himself: When Jewish women come up from their immersion [after their menstruation,] they should see me first so that they have beautiful children like me

2 ב
(ח) מִקְוֵה֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מֽוֹשִׁיע֖וֹ בְּעֵ֣ת צָרָ֑ה לָ֤מָּה תִֽהְיֶה֙ כְּגֵ֣ר בָּאָ֔רֶץ וּכְאֹרֵ֖חַ נָטָ֥ה לָלֽוּן׃
(8) O Hope of Israel, Its deliverer in time of trouble, Why are You like a stranger in the land, Like a traveler who stops only for the night?
3 ג
(י) וּֽלֲהַבְדִּ֔יל בֵּ֥ין הַקֹּ֖דֶשׁ וּבֵ֣ין הַחֹ֑ל וּבֵ֥ין הַטָּמֵ֖א וּבֵ֥ין הַטָּהֽוֹר׃

(10) for you must distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean;

4 ד

(ד) כָּל הַיַּמִּים כְּמִקְוֶה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית א), וּלְמִקְוֵה הַמַּיִם קָרָא יַמִּים, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל כְּמִקְוֶה. לֹא נֶאֱמַר יַמִּים, אֶלָּא שֶׁיֶּשׁ בּוֹ מִינֵי יַמִּים הַרְבֵּה. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, כָּל הַיַּמִּים מְטַהֲרִים בְּזוֹחֲלִין, וּפְסוּלִין לַזָּבִין וְלַמְצֹרָעִים, וּלְקַדֵּשׁ מֵהֶם מֵי חַטָּאת:

(4) All the seas are like a mikveh, as the verse says (Genesis 1:10) "And the gathering [literally: mikveh] of water, God called seas," according to Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says: the great sea [i.e. the Mediterranean, alone] is like a mikveh; the verse only says "seas" [in the plural] because it contains many types of seas.

5 ה

(א) דִין תּוֹרָה שֶׁכָּל מַיִם מְכֻנָּסִין טוֹבְלִין בָּהֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יא לו) "מִקְוֵה מַיִם" מִכָּל מָקוֹם. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בָּהֶן כְּדֵי לְהַעֲלוֹת בָּהֶן כְּדֵי טְבִילָה לְכָל גּוּף הָאָדָם בְּבַת אַחַת. שִׁעֲרוּ חֲכָמִים אַמָּה עַל אַמָּה בְּרוּם שָׁלֹשׁ אַמּוֹת. וְשִׁעוּר זֶה הוּא מַחֲזִיק אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה מַיִם בֵּין שְׁאוּבִין בֵּין שֶׁאֵינָן שְׁאוּבִין:

(1) According to biblical law, any water that is gathered may be used for immersion, as it is written: "A gathering of water" (Leviticus 11:36), of any kind; provided that there is enough of it to fill up the measure required for the complete immersion of a human's entire body. The sages have calculated the measure to be one cubit square by three cubits deep. This quantity holds forty seahs (sixty gallons) water, whether drawn or undrawn [from any kind of receptacle].

6 ו
חציצין דאורייתא נינהו דכתיב ורחץ את כל בשרו (במים) שלא יהא דבר חוצץ בין בשרו למים במים במי מקוה כל בשרו מים שכל גופו עולה בהן וכמה הן אמה על אמה ברום שלש אמות ושיערו חכמים מי מקוה ארבעים סאה

Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Ashi said above that Rav said that the laws governing interpositions that invalidate ritual immersion are halakhot transmitted to Moses from Sinai. The Gemara challenges this assertion: These, too, are written in the Torah, as it is written: “And he shall bathe all his flesh in the water” (Leviticus 15:16), and the Sages derived that nothing should intervene between flesh and the water. The definite article in the phrase “in the water” indicates that this bathing is performed in water mentioned elsewhere, i.e., specifically in the water of a ritual bath, and not in just any water. And the phrase “all his flesh” indicates that it must be in water into which all of the body can enter, i.e., in which a person can immerse their entire body at once. And how much water is that? It is a cubit by a cubit by the height of three cubits. And the Sages calculated the volume of a ritual bath of this size and determined that the waters of a ritual bath measure forty se’a.

7 ז
ותניא כל עיר שאין בה עשרה דברים הללו אין תלמיד חכם רשאי לדור בתוכה בית דין מכין ועונשין וקופה של צדקה נגבית בשנים ומתחלקת בשלשה ובית הכנסת ובית המרחץ וביהכ"ס רופא ואומן ולבלר (וטבח) ומלמד תינוקות משום ר' עקיבא אמרו אף מיני פירא מפני שמיני פירא מאירין את העינים:
And it is taught in a baraita: A Torah scholar is not permitted to reside in any city that does not have these ten things: A court that has the authority to flog and punish transgressors; and a charity fund for which monies are collected by two people and distributed by three, as required by halakha. This leads to a requirement for another three people in the city. And a synagogue; and a bathhouse; and a public bathroom; a doctor; and a bloodletter; and a scribe [velavlar] to write sacred scrolls and necessary documents; and a ritual slaughterer; and a teacher of young children. With these additional requirements there are a minimum of 120 men who must be residents of the city. They said in the name of Rabbi Akiva: The city must also have varieties of fruit, because varieties of fruit illuminate the eyes.
8 ח

(ט) הָאוֹמֵר, אֶחֱטָא וְאָשׁוּב, אֶחֱטָא וְאָשׁוּב, אֵין מַסְפִּיקִין בְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה. אֶחֱטָא וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם, יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, עַד שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ. אֶת זוֹ דָּרַשׁ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה, מִכֹּל חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם לִפְנֵי ה' תִּטְהָרוּ (ויקרא טז), עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם, יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, עַד שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ. אָמַר רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, אַשְׁרֵיכֶם יִשְׂרָאֵל, לִפְנֵי מִי אַתֶּם מִטַּהֲרִין, וּמִי מְטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם, אֲבִיכֶם שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יחזקאל לו), וְזָרַקְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם מַיִם טְהוֹרִים וּטְהַרְתֶּם. וְאוֹמֵר (ירמיה יז), מִקְוֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל ה', מַה מִּקְוֶה מְטַהֵר אֶת הַטְּמֵאִים, אַף הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְטַהֵר אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל:

(9) One who says, "I will sin, and then repent, I will sin again, and then repent," will not receive an opportunity to repent; for one who says "I will sin, and Yom Kipur will atone," Yom Kippur will not atone. Yom Kippur atones for transgressions between a person and God, but for a transgression against one's neighbor, Yom Kipur cannot atone, until they appeases their neighbor.

Thus R. Eleazar ben Azariah expounds the text, "From all your sins before God shall you be clean": For transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones, for transgressions against one's neighbor, Yom Kippur cannot atone, until they appease their neighbor. R. Akiva says, Happy are you, Israel! Before whom are you purified, and who purifies you of your transgressions? God. For it is said, "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean"; and it is also said, "The ‏ritual bath‎ [lit. Hope] of Israel is the God"; even as a ritual bath purifies the unclean, so does the Holy One, Blessed Be, purify Israel.

9 ט
נִדָּה שֶׁנָּתְנָה מָעוֹת בְּפִיהָ וְיָרְדָה וְטָבְלָה, טְהוֹרָה מִטֻּמְאָתָהּ, אֲבָל טְמֵאָה הִיא עַל גַּב רֻקָּהּ. נָתְנָה שְׂעָרָהּ בְּפִיהָ, קָפְצָה יָדָהּ, קָרְצָה שִׂפְתוֹתֶיהָ, כְּאִלּוּ לֹא טָבְלָה. הָאוֹחֵז בְּאָדָם וּבְכֵלִים וּמַטְבִּילָן, טְמֵאִין. וְאִם הֵדִיחַ אֶת יָדוֹ בַּמַּיִם, טְהוֹרִים. רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, יְרַפֶּה, כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּבֹאוּ בָהֶם מָיִם. בֵּית הַסְּתָרִים, בֵּית הַקְּמָטִים, אֵינָן צְרִיכִין שֶׁיָּבֹאוּ בָהֶן מָיִם:
If a niddah placed money in her mouth, and descended and immersed, she is pure from her impurity [which she had from before], but she is [again rendered] impure because of her saliva [the saliva on the money, a opposed to that which is in her mouth naturally, renders her impure]. If she put her hair in her mouth, clasped her hands [together], or pursed her lips, it is as though she did not immerse. If one grasps on to a person or vessels while immersing them, they are impure. If one washed his hand with water [before grasping them], they are pure. Rabbi Shimon says: he should loosen [his grip] so the waters can surround them. Hidden areas and crevices [in the body] do not need the waters to surround them.
10 י

Uses: