Online Mikvah Calendar Debuts

A new Online Mikvah Calendar created for the internet has eased observance of the complex Jewish laws of family purity.

Hana Levi Julian,

Mikvah at Chabad Center of Greater South Bay
Mikvah at Chabad Center of Greater South Bay
Israel News Photo: (Courtesy of Chabad GSB)

A new Online Mikvah Calendar created especially for the internet-savvy Jewish woman-of-today is making it easier to observe the complex Jewish laws of family purity.

The website, which was rolled out this week, is the brainchild of Rebbetzin Rivkah Bloom, who grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was the only Jewish child in her grade, forced at age 14 to leave home for a Jewish school in Pennsylvania, and from there to seminary in Israel. What followed led to software that has the potential to change the lives of millions of women: her years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. 

Bloom came up with the idea for the new website in response to requests for help from women learning about mikvah observance – the laws of purity, which include immersion in a ritual pool.

"They asked me to develop a program to calculate their important dates," said Bloom. It took her four years to develop the Mikvah Calendar program, together with a colleague from MIT who "would like to remain anonymous." She told Israel National News in an exclusive email interview that she personally would "continually add new features to the site."

Although the website hasn't even been up for a week yet, "it's been swamped with log-ins," she added, noting that the service provided is free until July 15. After that, it will cost users $18 per year to log in and use the high-tech service, a fee which Bloom said will "just cover the cost of maintenance."

Users will be able to tap into an "Ask the Rabbi" feature and receive SMS/Text message and/or email reminder the day before any important dates and times. Bloom cited works by Rabbi Fishel Jacobs, author of Chochmot HaTaharah and Family Purity, as being special inspiration in her formation of the service.

Although the observance of mikvah is primarily relevant to married women, Bloom said that she believes single women, men and even people of other faiths would also enjoy the new website.

"I think they would find it interesting because they can understand in a tangible way how every aspect of a Jewish life can be holy," Bloom said, even down to the barest details.



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