If you normally go to a mikveh, I assume that you would want it to be nice, clean, and if you’re fancy, even a little sleek. So while this story that I read from the Los Angeles Times is cool, it doesn’t mean that I would want to participate in a ritual cleanse there any time soon.
The fine folks of Baltimore, Maryland have discovered what they believe to be the oldest mikveh in the United States. Archeologists were excavating the basement of the Lloyd Street Synagogue when they discovered a small wooden bath. They figured that the mikveh is from about 1845.
Now, you might be trying to figure out why exactly was it so hard to find a mikveh that was only built in 1845. Here’s what the article had to say about that:
When the congregation expanded its synagogue to the rear in 1860, it tore down the old mikvah house, filled in the bath and buried it beneath the addition. The dig has turned up a wealth of artifacts in the fill dirt — broken wine bottles, crockery, buttons and other domestic items — none dating later than 1860.
So there you go. I’m sure the owners of the second oldest mikveh in the United States are pretty pissed right now–but don’t mind them. They are cranky.
And again, a reminder–please don’t go in that mikveh.
Pronounced: MICK-vuh, or mick-VAH, Alternate Spelling: mikvah, Origin: Hebrew, Jewish ritual bath.