As the sun was setting over the horizon, the soft, golden rays were shining onto the Tennessee stone at the entrance to Nashville's Mikvah Mei Chaya.
Guests from around the country, and representatives from across the Nashville community gathered this past Sunday to dedicate Mikvah Mei Chaya, the first Mikvah to be built in Nashville, Tennessee, in over fifty years.
This Mikvah is the crown jewel of the newly built Genesis Campus for Jewish Life, home of Chabad of Nashville, directed by Shluchim Rabbi Yitzchok and Esther Tiechtel. Six months earlier, Tennessee's Governor, Bill Haslam, dedicated the new Chabad Center, and now, the Nashville community gathered together to dedicate a luxurious new Mikvah for the Jewish women of Middle Tennessee.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was led by Shlucha Mrs. Esther Tiechtel, as she was joined by several key supporters, including Mrs. Judy Kilgore, Mohtaram Yazdian, and Karen Yazdian, whose family built the Mikvah and the new Chabad Center. The Mezuzah was affixed on the Mikvah entrance by Mr. Fred Yazdian and his brother, Mr. Abe Yazdian, together with Rabbi Yitzchok Tiechtel.
Following the official ceremony, all of the guests gathered in the sanctuary of the building for an inspiring lecture on “The Sensual and the Sacred,” presented by the Shlucha from Emory University, in Atlanta, GA, Mrs. Miriam Lipskier. Many participants in the room had never heard of, or even been to a Mikvah before; she spoke brilliantly, and for many, this was an eye opening event.
Rabbi Tiechtel noted the importance of building a Mikvah, even prior to the importance of building a Shul. Nothing was spared in the building of this structure. All materials used, from the travertine stone imported from Turkey, to the glass tiles for the Mikvah, from elegant lighting fixtures, to the most exquisite furnishings and paintings, from the limestone vanities and modern plumbing fixtures, to the surround sound audio system, were selected by a team of top interior designers, to make it a five star MikSPA experience.
To give the feeling of immersing in a luxurious spa pool, the Mikvah itself was built spaciously. To prepare for periods of southern drought when it does not rain for many months, a cistern, an Otzar Geshamim, was built to hold a reservoir of rainwater, like the Rebbe Rashab had for the Mikvah in his courtyard, in Rostov, Russia.
Mrs. Esther Tiechtel noted the Hashgacha Pratis that the cement for the Mikvah concrete was poured on the 25th of Adar 5771, beginning the process, and then twelve months later, on the day of 25th of Adar, 5772, the Mikvah was inspected and approved by the visiting Rabbonim. Upon noting the Divine Providence of the beginning and the completion of the Mikvah project falling out on the 25th of Adar, which is the birthday of Rebbetzen Chaya Mushka, it was decided to dedicate the Mikvah as “Mikvah Mei Chaya.”
Following the spellbinding lecture presentation from Mrs. Miriam Lipskier, the many guests were impressed with the importance of this concept. Inspiration lingered as they took tours of the Mikvah, led by Shlucha of Vanderbilt University, Mrs. Nechama Rothstein, and her sister, Mrs. Ashira King. The event concluded with an elegant dessert reception, hosted by Goldie and Mark Shepherd. A special thank you goes to MikvahUSA for partnering with this project.
The guests left the elegant reception feeling elated and hopefully inspired to incorporate the beautiful Mitzvah of Mikvah into their lives.