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November 22, 1991 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

et

nondescript, if not totally con-
cealed. Finding most facilities
requires ingenuity.
The entrance to the
Rehavia mikvah, for one, is
flush with the right side of
the distinguished Ha'Ari
Street synagogue. Exploring
the house of worship from its
left wing would lead to an ad-
ditional door at the rear of the
structure. Through the back
door, a narrow passageway
leads to a tidy, more spacious
waiting room, recently
renovated with Italian im-
ported marble wall tiles.
Hallways radiate out in dif-
ferent directions, lined with
bathing rooms which adjoin
either private or shared
mikva'ot pools.
Although most Jerusalem
mikva'ot are built into syna-
gogues, ostensibly for cost ef-
ficiency, their interiors range
from modest, in the older
Jerusalem neighborhoods,
with two or three shared
ritual pools, to quite lux-
urious, the mikvah in the
predominantly Orthodox
western neighborhood of Har
Nof. Housed in an imposing
structure and set on a hill
that towers over steeply land-
scaped apartment houses, the
complex interior includes no
less than nine ritual pools set
at various angles off the
modern bathing facilities.
The waiting and make-up
rooms are well-appointed
with angled mirrors and at-
tractive marble walls.

A similar sense of
spaciousness is apparent in
the privately built mikvah in
Bayit Vegan, also an enclave
of religious Jews. Divided bet-
ween two floors in a separate,
inconspicuous building, the
upstairs floor is set aside for
men, many of whom, in
Jerusalem, ritually immerse
themselves every morning. In
all, that facility contains ten
ritual pools in handsome
quarters. And in the largest
mikvah structure in Jerusa-
lem, in the old Baka
neighborhood, not only is
there a section for the
celebrating female family
members of kallot or brides,
but an entire division for the
handicapped. Disabled
women from all parts of Israel
avail themselves of either of
two specially designed lifts
that allow them full immer-
sion in the ritual pool. The
staff receives specialized
training in the physical as
well as emotional handling of
the handicapped.
Probably the most unusual
of Jerusalem structures are
the igloo-shaped mikva'ot
erected in the modern outly-
ing neighborhoods of
Jerusalem: Gilo, Ramot,
Talpiot Mizrach and Neve



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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

71

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