The number of Jewish ritual baths in the Russian capital grew by one more Thursday with a dedication of such a facility, known in Hebrew as a mikvah, in a new wing of the Darkei Shalom synagogue in Moscow’s Otradnoye district.
An essential component of Judaism’s laws governing family purity, the ritual bath will serve a rapidly growing Jewish community whose expansion necessitated the growth of the synagogue. Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Dovid and Shulamit Karpov have run the Darkei Shalom synagogue since 1980.
At the dedication ceremony, Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar called the growing number of ritual baths part of the strengthening embrace of traditional life by Muscovite Jews. Lazar, whose office supervises the construction and operation of mikvahs throughout Russia, added that such institutions bring holiness upon the Jewish community.