In the midst of a very tense period in terms of the security situation in Europe, a delegation from the Rabbinical Centre of Europe toured of a number of mikva’os in several German Jewish communities, thanks to the support of the Keren Meromim foundation.
The special delegation was headed by Harav Yisrael Yaakov Lichtenstein, Av Beis Din of the Federation of London and member of the RCE’s presidium, and his son Harav Michael Lichtenstein. Also participating were the well-known mikveh inspector Harav Yehuda Leib Mintzberg, and the RCE’s deputy director Harav Aryeh Goldberg. The delegation visited a number of Jewish communities in Germany and inspected the mikva’os there.
Every mikveh must be examined from time to time to ensure that it meets the requisite standards of kashrus and that it is being properly maintained. The offices of the RCE have received many requests to visit and examine mikva’os.
The delegation began its tour in Hamburg, whose Jewish community is led by the shaliach Harav Shlomo Bistritzky. From there the Rabbanim traveled to Hanover, whose community is led by Harav Binyamin Wolff. Their next stops were in Dortmund, where Harav Avichai Appel is the Rav; Krefeld, whose Rav is Harav Yitzchak Wagner; Nuremberg, whose Rav is Harav Eliezer Chitrik; and Dresden, whose Rav is Rabbi Shneur Havlin. The delegation’s last stop was in Berlin, in the Jewish community led by Harav Yehuda Teichtal.
Wherever they went, the Rabbanim were greeted by all the leaders of every Jewish group and circle, who all expressed their deep appreciation for the great efforts the RCE had made to bring this special delegation of experts to visit the Jewish communities in order to ensure that the mikva’os were kosher and, when necessary, to make any necessary repairs. In every city the community leaders accompanied the delegation as they performed their examination, and they displayed exceptional cooperation with the RCE delegation, as the rabbis of the delegation later reported.
Some of the mikva’os that were inspected were those that were constructed with funding provided by the RCE, together with Keren Matanel, for the building plans and the construction. The RCE also participated by overseeing the construction of these mikva’os to ensure that they met the highest halachic standards.
In each of the mikva’os the delegation visited, they made a full examination from the roof to the underground pool of the mikveh, as well as the other parts of the mikveh system.
Harav Yisrael Yaakov Lichtenstein pointed out how greatly impressed he was with the dedication of the Rabbanim of the various communities to see that the mikva’os were maintained exceptionally well and that they were kept clean and aesthetically pleasing. He was also impressed with the high level of halachic knowledge that was displayed through each detail of the mikva’os that were examined, which showed how much the Rabbanim and community leaders cared about increasing the tahorah and kedushah of Am Yisrael.
Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, Deputy Director of the RCE, summed up the delegation’s visit to these cities: “I hadn’t realized how very necessary it is to examine the mikva’os in every single community. This is the first of a series of visits we will be making in countries throughout Europe to examine the kashrus status of the mikva’os.”