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When traveling in the Middle East, certain things become very clear very quickly. One of those things is the value of water. It’s badly needed. It’s scarce and, consequently, a very valuable commodity. The value of water is accentuated by the fact that, in Israel, water was needed for a person immerse himself in a mikveh (ceremonial bath). Immersion in a mikveh was necessary if a person desired to go into the Sanctuary, or a Beit Midrash (House of Study). 

Visiting some of the ruins and archeological digs in Israel today, it is apparent that these ceremonial baths were considered a must for their communities; every village and town had them. Furthermore, because the water for the mikveh could not be stagnant but must be mayim chaim or “living water,” intricate and ingenious water collection systems had to be created to ensure a steady supply of useable water. This was no easy feat in some of the more barren areas.

How do you get living water in a land where water is so scarce? Of course, cisterns were dug out to collect water for drinking and other uses but water for the mikveh came from another source. A separate storage chamber was used to gather water during rainy seasons and was used exclusively for the mikveh. This storage chamber, called a “treasure” was usually situated above the mikveh so that when water was released, it would run down into the mikveh, thus stirring the water and causing it to be considered mayim chaim.

The process for ceremonial cleansing was this: when someone desired to approach the Creator, they went to a mikveh. The water from above, in the treasure, was released, and flowed down so that the one in the mikveh could be cleansed and refreshed. Today, it’s no different. We who wish to draw near unto Him are still in need of refreshing and cleansing. We rely upon the treasures of heaven, the living water that comes from the Messiah above, to flow down into our lives to renew us so that this dry ground—this flesh we reside in—can be rejuvenated and produce life.

May it be that, today, God will open up the treasures of Heaven, and that His living water will flow down to us and cleanse us anew. 

Shalom.

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