The Rabbinical Committee of Brownstone Brooklyn
The poured concrete foundation for the 292 Fifteenth Street Mikvah is just about complete judging by our most recent visit. Last December we dropped by the site located just above 6th Avenue, to find that they had just begun breaking ground.
And you thought it was tough getting your plans approved by Brooklyn DOB inspectors.
How complicated could it possible be keeping 191 gallons of rain water Kosher? Check out this fascinating link to Rabbi Howard Jachter's Halacha Files. In them you will find just about everything you ever wanted to know about the design and operation of a Jewish ritual bath...
"...the water in a Mikva must be placed there by God (i.e. without human intervention). Accordingly, water that has been in a receptacle such as a bucket is disqualified for use in a Mikva. If, for example, one drew water from a well with a bucket and placed the water in a hole in the ground, the water would be considered Mayim Sheuvim (drawn water). In the modern context, water from the tap is considered Mayim Sheuvim since (as explained by Rav Moshe Heinemann in a Shiur delivered to the Council of Young Israel rabbis) the water passes through receptacles in purification plants and water meters (also see Chazon Ish Y.D. 123:1)."
"therefore pay careful attention that the pipes that bring the water to the Mikva should not constitute a receptacle. The pipes should ideally be smooth without indentations (see Rama Y.D. 201:36 and Pitchei Teshuva 201:24). Ideally, elbow pipes should be avoided as the Raavad (gloss to Rambam Hilchot Mikvaot 8:7) seems to believe that they constitute a receptacle. For a lengthy discussion of the practical aspects regarding pipes that are used to transport rain from the roof to the Mikva, see Rav Yirmiyah Katz, Mikva Mayim 3:142-218)."
"Hashakah involves two bodies of water that touch each other. This involves filling one pool with Kosher rainwater (with all the great care involved in collecting and transporting this water) and another pool with water from the tap that is considered Mayim Sheuvim . People immerse in the pool filled with tap water and no one immerses in the pool filled with rainwater (the rainwater pool is covered to preserve the water and maintain its cleanliness). The tap water is changed periodically to insure a high level of cleanliness. The two pools are constructed in immediate proximity to each other and a common wall separates the two pools. The tap water is rendered Kosher by its contact with the rainwater through a hole in the common wall that separates the two pools. The Mishna (Mikvaot 6:7) records that the Torah level mandated size of the hole is Kishfoferet Hanod (the opening of a container). The Mishna explains that this is an area in which two fingers can fit comfortably. Twentieth century Rabbinic authorities debate the equivalence of this Shiur in inches. The opinions range from one and a half inches (Rav Avraham Chaim Naeh, Shiurei Mikva p. 163) to three inches (Rav Moshe Feinstein, Teshuvot Igrot Moshe Y.D. 2:89)."
Past IMBY Posts:
Sunday, December 28, 2008
"292 15th Street: Beds, Ritual Baths, and Beyond."