Keiliim mikvah for new vessels and utensils now open

by | Jan 18, 2024 | Other News

Etsy Gruen
It’s been a dream for many in Tidewater, and now it is a reality.

Judaism invests in the mundane activity of eating with kedusha, special sanctity. . . eating kosher food, with the table upon which the food is eaten representing the holy altar, the mizbei’ach.

The vessels and utensils (known in Hebrew as keilim) used for preparing food and for dining must also be given special holiness.

In addition to providing people with holiness, a mikvah is used to sanctify new vessels and utensils before they are first used.

Previously, Tidewater residents needed to use the indoor mikvah for immersing their vessels (or use a natural body of water like at the beach). This was not an ideal situation for many reasons, including that the physical layout of the mikvah made immersing keilim awkward and uncomfortable.

But that problem is now history.

Under the guidance of Rabbi Moshe Heineman, head of the renowned Star-K kashrus organization and master of Jewish law, The Norfolk Mikvah built a keilim mikvah (special mikvah designated for immersing vessels) by renovating an outdoor immersion pool the mikvah had but was not using.

The keilim mikvah is located on the property of B’nai Israel Congregation to the rear of The Norfolk Mikvah. A transliterated blessing card – as well as a list of basic guidelines for immersing vessels and utensils – is located on site for users’ convenience.

The keilim mikvah is open 8 am – 5 pm daily, 24/6.

The project was made possible by Shmuel Yitzhak, who invests his heart and soul in Tidewater’s Jewish community, and Rabbi Sholom Mostofsky and Rabbi Shmuel Katz, the “boots on the ground” who worked tirelessly with contractors to get the keilim mikvah up and running.

Esty Gruen is director of The Norfolk Mikvah.