The fundamental laws of mikveh derive from part of a single verse in this week’s Torah portion: “Only a wellspring and a pit, a gathering of water, will purify . . . ” (Lev. 11:36).
There are ten misconceptions about a mikveh’s uses, users, makeup, costs and relation to cleanliness.
Misconception 1: The mikveh cleanses a dirty person.
It’s just the opposite. An immersion in a mikveh is invalid if even the tiniest piece of dirt adheres to the body. Nothing may intervene between the immersee and the mikveh water.
Misconception 2: A mikveh must be sparkling clean.