A mikvah is a ritual bath used for ablutions necessary for observance of spiritual purity in Judaism. It is one of the pillars of a Jewish community, alongside the synagogue, and a Jewish school.
A mikvah transforms one’s state of spiritual purity, and reaffirm the cycles of life. Nowadays, the mikvah is primarily used by woman, after each menstrual cycle or birth, and on the eve of their marriage. Immersing in the mikvah waters is also integral to process of a Jewish conversion. Certain men, (primarily hassidic) regularly immerse in the mikvah before shabbat and festivals; others dip before morning prayers.
The presence of a mikvah in a community is of such importance, that it is even right to sell a synagogue to finance its construction!
Very complex rules govern the mikvah and are defined in the Mishnah. The water used to fill the lower cistern must not be poured or transported in any vessel, so rainwater is the most used source for initializing a mikvah.
New kitchen utensils are dipped in a mikvah to make them suitable to use in Kosher food preparation.
The Lausanne Mikvah is located on the lower level of the Great Synagogue and was inaugurated by the Grand Rabbi Vadnaï Z”l on December 11, 1985. It is accessible by appointment only preferably one or two days in advance (tel: +41 21 617 58 18).