At a time when mikveh is being rediscovered and reconsidered, Taking the Plunge provides a helpful look at this often misunderstood tradition. This useful resource is meant to be an accessible guide to the history and meaning of mikveh in Judaism. The author, a Conservative rabbi, stands at an interesting intersection of halachah and innovation. She is respectful and sensitive to the halachic nuances of mikveh as a commandment, but as a woman rabbi, she is also mindful of the challenges that mikveh and the accompanying family purity laws pose for many contemporary Jews. She takes into account feminist concerns, and in addition to covering the traditional uses of mikveh she also looks at some of the new ways that mikveh is being used today. She argues that mikveh is essentially about striving for holiness, and as such should not be disregarded as a powerful way to connect with the Divine. Her goal with this volume is to raise awareness and increase knowledge about mikveh, so that Jews across the spectrum will have the ability to re-engage with this meaningful ritual. This book is a valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more on this topic. Appendices, bibliography, and glossary.
Hara E. Person was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is a writer and editor.