"At first I was nervous about the mikveh, but as soon as I got in the water I found that the hardest thing was that I had to get out. This was something I always will remember."
Once you walk down the seven steps into the warm water of the mikveh, it is customary to immerse fully a total of three times. According to tradition, a blessing is recited after the first immersion (see the traditional and alternative blessings below). Some people then choose to say the Shehecheyanu blessing after the last immersion. Others use Mayyim Hayyim’s immersion ceremonies to enhance their experience, add private prayers or even sing between immersions. Visitors are encouraged to follow their own customs.
Mayyim Hayyim trains Mikveh Guides to help make your experience as meaningful as possible. He or she can answer questions, provide guidance, ensure privacy and offer support. Traditionally, a Mikveh Guide acts as a witness to make certain that one’s entire body is immersed under the water. Mikveh Guides hold a sheet above their eyes, only lowering it at the moment of immersion.
If you prefer to immerse alone or with your own guest as a witness, just tell the Mikveh Guide. If you are immersing for conversion, please discuss this first with your sponsoring clergy.
Blessings for Mikveh Immersion
Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam asher kid-shanu b’mitzvo-tav v’tzi-vanu al ha-tevilah.
Blessed are You, Adonai, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with mitzvot and commanded us concerning immersion.
Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam asher kid-shanu bi-tevilah b’mayyim hayyim.
Blessed are You, God, Majestic Spirit of the Universe, Who makes us holy by embracing us in living waters.
Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam she-heche-yanu, ve-ki-y’manu, ve-higi-yanu la-z’man ha-zeh.
Blessed are You, Source of all Life, Who has kept us alive and sustained us, and enabled us to reach this day.
Blessing for Conversion:
(Please check with your clergy to see whether you will say this blessing after the first immersion, or if you will say the traditional blessing for immersion, above.)
Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam asher kid-shanu b’mitzvo-tav v’tzi-vanu al tevilat gerim.
Blessed are You, Adonai, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with the mitzvot and commanded us concerning immersion for conversion.
The traditional blessings for immersion and Seven Kavanot for Mikveh Preparation