The Torah commands a woman to use a mikvah to purify herself from being a Niddah. The purify waters of the Mikveh, water from a natural source has the ability to transform the human body from impurity to purity. While a women merits this transformation each month unless pregnant, what about Jewish men? The priests during the times of the temple would have to use the Mikveh constantly to be in a proper spiritually pure state. The Kohen Gadol had to go to the Mikveh on Yom Kippur five times during his service in the Holy of Holies. From this the tradition of going to the Mikveh Erev Yom Kippur is almost universal among Jewish men and boys. What about Erev Shabbos and Yom Tov? What about everyday?
While the Shulchan Aruch does not require daily mikveh use for men, look no further than the decree of Ezra HaSofer that all Torah Scholars must go to the mikveh after intimacy before they are allowed to learn Torah. The decree was annulled after it became a burden on the community but those reasons do not exist today. Every major Jewish center in the world has multiple mens mikvehs that are clean, hopefully hot, and affordable. The spiritual benefits of daily Mikveh use or erev Shabbos at minimum are astronomical. The Mikveh gives a person clairity and a connection to Hashem that can not be achieved by other means.
Going to the mikveh everyday is difficult and it is best to begin with Erev Shabbos and Yom Tov. Once you feel this power from going then you will be unable to withhold yourself from this connection everyday.
Now, there are many meditations and kavanos connected to the mikveh.
The Ari’Zal has his own meditation which is quite complicated. It doesnt seem realistic for a beginner to get a meaningful connection to this Kavanah. Instead will we discuss a kavanah from the Baal Shem Tov
The Baal Shem Tov introduced a more condensed meditation that while very powerful is limited to immersing 5 times which the Lubavitcher Rebbe says in Shaarei Halacha UMinhag connects to the 5 levels of your soul; Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, and Yechida.
Baal Shem Tov’s Mikveh Meditation
Before immersion you should meditate on the name אהיה as well as אהיה .מקוה has the same gematria (151) as Mikveh and is the spiritual source of the purifying water.
אהיה connects to the level of Keser (Crown) and is on a level of complete transcendence. When Moshe asks Hashem his name, Hashem tells him,
אהיה אשר אהיה
I am that I am.
1) Meditate during the first immersion on the Name אהיה, (I am), in expanded form:
אלף הה יוד הה
Aleph:1 Lamed:30 Final Pay: 80 Hey:5 Hey:5 Yud:10 Vav:6 Daled:4 Hey:5 Hey:5 = 151 which is the same as the word Mivkeh
Mem: 40 Kuf: 100 Vav:6 Hey:5
While under water meditate on these names and their connection to each other. Visualize in your mind’s eye that the water surrounding you is actually the spiritual manifestation of Hashem’s name אהיה.
2) Before the Second immersion meditate on the Name:
אתה גבור לעולם אדני) אגלא)
AGLA is Rosh Teves for “You are the strength of the entire world Hashem(Adonai).” which is found in the second blessing of the Amidah. It represents Gevurah, restriction and concealment.
Then have Kavanah that Aleph and Gimmel of
Combines to form the daled in the name
which is one of the 72 Names of Hashem. Both of these names have the gematria of 35.
אֵלֵד is associated with the quality of Chesed/ loving kindness, literally the word אֵלֵד means “giving birth”, to a new reality. (Baal Shem Tov Torah. Visco 14)
3) Immerse a third time and meditate on the Name
Giving birth to a new reality, breaking and sweetening all the Gevurah in your life.
4) Immerse a fourth time and when your head is under water create a Shiluv (Unity) between the Name אהיה and אֵלֵד, that is imagine the letter sequence
אלף א הה ל יוד ד הה
5) Immerse a fifth time and have intention to create a Shiluv (Unity) between אהיה and אֵלֵד not expanded
This is the 5 step immersion process based on the Baal Shem Tov’s Kavanah and Meditation for the Mikveh.
Source: R. Avraham the son of the Maggid teaching from the tradition of the Baal Shem Tov (Pri Ha’aretz. Lech. Baal Shem Tov. Torah. Visco. Note: 25. Likutei Yekarim. 27-28. Siddur Alter Rebbe. Kavanas Ha’Mikva)
Additional Meditations for each immersion.
1) first immersion meditate on the Name of Hashem that is related to “becoming” the possibility to
2) Meditate on the constrictions of your life, the “constrictions” and pain of the weekdays that
have just passed. The place of smallness. And meditate that, אֵלֵד, to birth a beautiful child there
first needs to be the constriction, contractions and then the birth. Same is with your week,
“according to your pain is your reward! your pleasure.”
3)Think only about the new birthed you, coming from the power of the Name אהיה (This Name
is also connected with protection of negative influences on you, such as Ayin Harah·evil eye.)
4) Think: about the unity of the Name אֵלֵד and the name אהיה that represents “Becoming” as
you are becoming new.
S) Again meditate on these two Names, but this time you are presently becoming new.