Messiah 101
Foundational Principles of Messiah
R' Richard Pustelniak
November 19, 2000

Repentance from Deeds that Lead to Death
Faith toward G-d
Doctrine of Ceremonial Immersions
T'vilah, the Concept
T'vilah, the Perspective
T'vilah, Our Tradition 
T'vilah, Our Messiah's Need
Immersion, in "The Name"
Related Concepts and Scriptures
Laying On of Hands
Resurrection of the Dead
Eternal Judgment

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Warning: The truths contained in this teaching are not for the faint of heart, or the lukewarm! You can be sure that haSatan (the adversary) will do all he can to keep you from understanding and applying the concepts and truths contained herein, but it is our prayer that every one who receives these notes will carefully consider and apply the contents to their lives.

VIII. Doctrine of Ceremonial Immersions
bible icon...the foundation of...the doctrine of ceremonial immersions (torat hat'vilot)... (Heb 6:1,2)
A. Biblical Terms
baptismón didakhéis: literally meaning, "teachings on ceremonial immersions"

didakhéi: literally meaning, "an established and formulated doctrine"
bible iconAnd so it was, when Y'shua had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching (doctrine), for He instructed them as one having authority {to originate doctrine}, and not as the scribes {who cite the originators}. (Matt 7:28,29)
baptídzo: literally meaning, "to wash," to "bathe," to "immerse," or, to "dye"
  • Actually derives from a term from the textile industry. For example, a white fabric which is dyed blue is actually referred to as "baptized into blue."
teviláh: ceremonial immersion
  • Rite which symbolizes the change of status of a particular item, or person; the setting apart for a particular purpose.
  • The thought here is not of death, burial, and resurrection, but of new putting the past behind and of new beginnings.
bible iconTherefore, if anyone {is} in Messiah, {he is} a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2Cor 5:17)
qaváh: literally meaning, to "bind" {together}, to "collect," or "gather together," to "expect"

míkvah: literally, a "gathering together," a "collection," or "reservoir"
  • In the case of t'vilah, a gathering together of water into which, a ceremonial immersion takes place.
  • Mikveh also carries the meaning of "hope," a gathering together of something waited for, a reservoir of confidence.
bible iconO L-RD, the hope (mikveh) of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. "Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the L-RD, the fountain of living waters." (Jer 17:13)
tíkvah: normally translated "hope" literally, means, "that which gathers together"
  • The national anthem of Eretz Yisrael is Hatikvah (The Hope)
bible iconTherefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope (tikvah). For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. (Ps 16:9,10)
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B. T'vilah, the Concept

Like the previous two topics, the interpretation of the true meaning and purpose of t'vilah (ceremonial immersion, or baptism if you will) has been a great source of division in the Body of Messiah. Having long ago let go of our Hebraic roots, we have lost the beauty of G-d's gift to us. We have begun to struggle among ourselves over trivialities and points of dispute that often miss the mark altogether: complete immersion or sprinkling? immersing three times or just once? in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or in the name of Y'Shua alone? necessary for salvation or not? by anyone or by the elders only? bending forward or backward? quickly in and out or hold them down till they struggle for air? and many more...

As the Hebrew word Torat and the Greek word didakhéi indicate, the concept of ceremonial immersion is a unified and established and formulated set of teachings or instruction. Restoration of the Hebraic foundation leads to a liberating understanding of what otherwise would be a bewildering collection of scriptures and references. For example, understanding the unified concept of t'vilah and mikveh leads one quickly and easily to the answer to the question: "Why did Y'Shua need to come to Yochanan (John) to be immersed?"

The confusion:

Much confusion has come from the idea that whenever immersion is referenced (i.e., the word baptism is used), it refers to the same thing: water baptism. This is not the case. Y'Shua used the concept to express His being completely immersed in His Father's will: yielding His life as an offering, Holy to G-d, unto salvation for all who would receive it. This is definitely not immersion in water.

bible iconBut Y'Shua answered and said, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to Him, "We are able." So He said to them, "You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but {it is for those} for whom it is prepared by My Father." (Matt 20:22,23)

The next idea to refute before we can move to the truth is that "immersion" in water symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection. This idea is derived from the following scripture:

bible iconOr do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Messiah Y'Shua were immersed into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through immersion into death, that just as Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:3,4)

While there does appear to be a similarity between immersion and burial/resurrection, the immersion being discussed here is an effective immersion, that is, it actually effects a change. It actually accomplishes something, rather than symbolizing the accomplishment. There is only one effective immersion. The immersion, by the Spirit of the Holy one, into the Body (or family/community) of Messiah:

bible icon{There is} one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one L-rd, one faith, one baptism; one G-d and Father of all, who {is} above all, and through all, and in you all. (Eph 4:4-6)
bible iconFor by one Spirit we were all immersed into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. (1Cor 12:13,14)

The following passage has enough connective similarity to the two previous scripture references to solidify the interpretation:

bible iconFor as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Y'Shua. And if you {are} of Messiah, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:27-29)

Now to the concept that one must be immersed (baptized) to be saved. Knowing of the only effective immersion, you may quickly and boldly state that: "Yes! You must be baptized to be saved," but not in water. Otherwise, Y'Shua was a liar when He told the thief on the cross next to him, "Today, you will be with Me in Paradise." So consider the following in the new light of understanding:

bible iconAnd He said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to every creature. He who believes and is immersed will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mk 16:15-16)
The resolution:

The next concept to put away, is that the waters of immersion wash away sin, as one washes away dirt. This also appears reasonable, in isolation from our Hebraic roots. However, the proper interpretation is very different indeed. Our people have continued to practice t'vilah for the last several thousand years, maintaining connection with the roots. Although there is much they do not know or understand, concerning Messiah, there is much we can learn from them:

The waters are not used to remove any physical uncleanliness, but rather serve as a symbolic rebirth, an emergence from the purified, cleansing waters of new beginnings. The immersion removes any ritual impurity and the person is considered ritually pure—eligible to participate in the ritual life of the Jewish People.

There are a great number of references to ceremonial immersion in the Scriptures, both in the Tanach (Hebrew Bible) and the B'rit HaChadashah (New Covenant). The unified nature of the doctrine is revealed, in that, in every case, immersion symbolizes being put in a new position, or being moved from one state of being to another: ceremonially impure to ceremonially pure, secular to spiritual, common (or profane) to holy...

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C. T'vilah, the Perspective

While the concept of t'shuvah (repentance) looks to the past, acknowledging our sin and its consequences, and emunah (faith/trust) looks to the present, recognizing how not to sin and the benefits of trusting G-d, t'vilah looks to the future, leaving sin behind and walking in newness of life and dropping the burdens of our past.

bible iconTherefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Y'Shua, by a new and living way which He set apart for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and {having} a High Priest over the house of G-d, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed (immersed) with (in) pure water. (Heb 10:19-22)
bible iconFor Messiah also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to G-d, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while {the} ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us, immersion (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward G-d), through the resurrection of Y'Shua haMashiach, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of G-d, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. (1Pet 3:18-22)

When we come to G-d, recognizing and repenting of our sin, and beginning our new lives, putting our trust in Him, we need to be able to put the past behind us. We need to be able to trust G-d for our future, and leave all the old baggage at the altar, where is was atoned for. The waters of mikveh are, as it were, a definitive line in the sand. When that line is crossed, the past is put away, left behind, never to be returned to again.

bible iconBrethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing {I} {do,} forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of G-d in Messiah Y'Shua. (Php 3:13,14)
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D. T'vilah, Our Tradition

The mikveh has seven steps leading down into the water, representing the six days of creation and the Shabbat. The pool called a (bor), and must have enough water for a person to completely immerse. The waters of the mikveh called (mayim chayim), "living waters" or the "waters of life."

The one being immersed must bathe thoroughly first, emphasizing the fact that the immersion is not for physical cleanliness.

Mikva-ot (plural form) are often used, for various reasons:

  • By Orthodox men to indicate the transition between the secular week and the Holy Shabbat
  • Before performance of a sacred task, such a by a sofer (scribe) before writing the Holy Name in a Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll)
  • By the bride and groom, before a wedding, as symbolic act of purification and the beginning of a new life, as one flesh
  • By married Orthodox women, following the practices of taharat hamishpacha (family purity), who enter the mikveh at the completion of their time of niddah (separation)
  • For the practice of tevilat kelim, the ceremonial sanctification of new kitchenware, to be used in a kosher home
  • By converts to Judaism, symbolizing the transition from non-Jew to first generation Jew. In conversion mikveh, one emerges from the waters, with his past life behind him, to take his stand with the people of G-d.

In the days of Y'Shua, mikva-ot were built right into the homes of the rich. Also, t'vilah was a very important practice, associated with the new life beginning in marriage, even as it is today. This can be seen in the celebration of the wedding in Cana, which was attended by Y'Shua:

bible iconNow there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. (Jn 2:6)

In keeping with the fact that t'vilah is a symbolic act, marking a transition being made by the individual being immersed, all t'vilah is self-immersion, as in modern Jewish practice. This knowledge should dispel the struggles about who does the immersing, and how the immersing is done. The concept of self-immersion is clearly illustrated in the immersion of the Messiah by Yochanan (John), in the Jordan. If He were being immersed by Yochanan, He could not have emerged with such enthusiasm as is written:

bible iconWhen He had been immersed, Y'Shua came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit of the Holy One) descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. (Matt 3:16, NKJ)

The primary task of the one overseeing the immersion is to ensure that the statement being made is actually complete, that complete immersion has been accomplished, including hair and all parts of the body. Also, the one credited with doing the immersing is actually only officiating and overseeing the immersions. The one so credited does not have to be the one actually performing the immersions:

bible iconTherefore, when the L-rd knew that the Pharisees had heard that Y'Shua made and immersed more disciples than John (though Y'Shua Himself did not immerse, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. (Jn 4:1-3, NKJ)

In modern conversion mikveh, the officiating rabbis are not even able to see female converts when they are being immersed. The overseeing of the actual immersion is performed by a woman, while the rabbis are present but are kept from seeing the act by an interposing veil. This is done for the sake of modesty.

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E. T'vilah, Our Messiah's Need

The Scriptures are clear, Messiah had no sin:

bible iconFor we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all {points} tempted as {we are, yet} without sin. (Heb 4:15, NKJ)

Yet, Messiah, himself, said that He needed to be immersed:

bible iconThen Y'Shua came from Galilee to Yochanan at the Jordan to be immersed by him. And Yochanan {tried to} prevent Him, saying, "I need to be immersed by You, and are You coming to me?" But Y'Shua answered and said to him, "Permit {it to be so} now, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. (Matt 3:13-15, NKJ)

Here we find that Yochanan's immersion was one of repentance (putting ones old life and ways behind, and making a new start), in preparation for the soon coming Kingdom of G-d. Having this perspective, Yochanan stated that he should be coming to Y'Shua, rather than the other way around. However, having no sin, Y'Shua was not in need of repentance. His statement to Yochanan was that t'vilah was needed to fulfill all righteousness. This means that it was needed in order to do everything that needed to be done, the right way.

Since no repentance was needed, what kind of t'vilah was required? Understanding the essential meaning of t'vilah, in all its connotations, yields the understanding that some transition or change of state was to take place, "to fulfill all righteousness."

Before Y'shua came to Yochanan, he was a carpenter, a common or secular state or position, albeit quite an acceptable and honorable one. Yet, from the moment of His mikveh, Y'shua never went back to pick up another hammer or saw another board. He was set apart for the service of G-d and His Kingdom. This is essentially the meaning of Messianic (or Christian) t'vilah, being set apart for the work of the Kingdom. In keeping with the act of consecration, Messiah's commissioning and empowerment for the task he was set apart for, was tangibly expressed:

bible iconWhen He had been immersed, Y'Shua came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach HaKodesh descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice {came} from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt 3:16-17, NKJ)
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F. Immersion in "the Name"

One of the greatest controversies in the community of Messiah has been the question: "In whose name should one be immersed? In the Name of Y'Shua only? Or in the Name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit? This question can also be answered by returning to the Hebraic roots and by a careful examination of the Scriptures. First, to be immersed in the name of someone is to acknowledge and to be identified with that one.

Those in the Scripture that were immersed in Y'shua's name only, were Jews, already in full knowledge, and acceptance of the Father and His Holy Spirit. Being immersed in the Name of the Messiah was all that was needed:

bible icon"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that G-d has made this Y'Shua, whom you crucified, both L-rd and Messiah." Now when they heard {this,} they were cut to the heart, and said to Kefa (Peter) and the rest of the talmidim (disciples), "Men {and} brothers, what shall we do?" Then Kefa said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be immersed in the name of Y'Shua haMashiach (the Messiah) for the remission (the putting away or behind) of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Ruach haKodesh. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the L-rd our G-d will call." And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were immersed; and that day about three thousand souls were added {to them.} (Ac 2:36-41)
bible iconAnd it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some talmidim he said to them, "Did you receive the Ruach haKodesh when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Ruach haKodesh." And he said to them, "Into what then were you immersed?" So they said, "Into Yochanan's t'vilah." Then Paul said, "Yochanan indeed immersed with a t'vilah unto repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Y'Shua haMashiach." When they heard {this,} they were immersed in the name of the L-rd Y'Shua. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Ruach haKodesh came upon them, and they spoke with languages and prophesied. (Ac 19:1-6)

Those in the Scripture that were immersed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were those who had come from outside the commonwealth of Israel. These had no relationship with G-d prior to coming to faith, and needed to acknowledge and symbolically submit to the complete Echad (or Unity) of the Holy One:

bible icon"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, {even} to the end of the age. Amen (or, 'you can put your trust in this')" (Matt 28:19,19)

Here we see one of the nations, but he is obviously not a heathen, but a Jew. Ethiopian Jews (Falashim) continue to exist, and many believe in Y'Shua:

bible iconNow as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, {here is} water. What hinders me from being immersed?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Y'Shua haMashiach is the Son of G-d." (Ac 8:36,37)
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G. Related Concepts and Scriptures

Hearing that Messiah was coming, or had come, the natural response of believing Jews, seeking to be ready and worthy for the promised Messianic Age (or Kingdom), would be to confess and renounce any sin, then to be immersed, signifying the transition to a holier state (corporate and personal) with requisite repentance and faith...

bible iconIn those days Yochanan haTav'li (John the Immerser) came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the L-RD; Make His paths straight.'" And Yochanan himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were immersed by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. (Matt 3:1-6, NKJ)
bible iconBut when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the things concerning the Kingdom of G-d and the name of Y'Shua haMashiach, both men and women were immersed. (Ac 8:12)

T'vilah, for the purpose of sanctification (setting apart for a purpose) of the kohanim (priests), to serve G-d as His representatives:

bible iconAnd you shall anoint the laver and its base, and consecrate it. Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of meeting and wash (immerse) them with (in) water. You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. (Ex. 40:11-13)
bible iconAnd Aaron and his sons you shall bring to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and you shall wash (immerse) them with water. (Ex. 29:4)

Even after the immersion of commissioning, kohanim were to use immersion to mark the transition to a special state of holiness, before performing their duties in the Temple:

bible iconYou shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash (immerse) their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the L-rd, they shall wash (immerse) {their hands and feet} with water, lest they die. (Ex. 30:18-20)

T'vilah was also specified to mark the leaving behind, or putting away, of a state of being tamei (ceremonial inaccessibility to the holy things and presence of G-d):

bible iconAnd he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the tzaraat (traditionally translated "leprosy), and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field. He who is to be cleansed shall immerse his clothes, shave off all his hair, and immerse himself in water, that he may be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, and shall stay outside his tent seven days. But on the seventh day he shall shave all the hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, all his hair he shall shave off. He shall immerse his clothes and immerse his body in water, and he shall be tahar (clean or pure). (Lev 14:7-9)
bible iconSpeak to the children of Israel, and say to them: "When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge {is} tamei (impure). And this shall be his uncleanness in regard to his discharge, whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped up by his discharge, it {is} his impurity. Every bed is tamei on which he who has the discharge lies, and everything on which he sits shall be tamei. And whoever touches his bed shall wash his clothes and immerse in water, and be tamei until evening. He who sits on anything on which he who has the discharge sat shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be tamei until evening. And he who touches the body of him who has the discharge shall wash his clothes and immerse in water, and be tamei until evening. (Lev 15:2-7)
bible iconIf a woman has a discharge, {and} the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be tamei until evening. Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be tamei; also everything that she sits on shall be tamei. Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and immerse in water, and be tamei until evening. And whoever touches anything that she sat on shall wash his clothes and immerse in water, and be tamei until evening. (Lev 15:19-22)
bible iconIf any man has an emission of semen, then he shall immerse his body in water, and be tamei until evening. And any garment and any leather on which there is semen, it shall be immersed with water, and be tamei until evening. Also, when a woman lies with a man, and {there is} an emission of semen, they shall immerse in water, and be tamei until evening. (Lev 15:16-18)
bible iconIf there is any man among you who becomes tamei by some occurrence in the night, then he shall go outside the camp; he shall not come inside the camp. But it shall be, when evening comes, that he shall immerse with water; and when the sun sets, he may come into the camp. (Deut 23:10, 11)
bible iconAnd every person who eats what died {naturally} or what was torn {by beasts, whether he is} a native of your own country or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes and immerse in water, and be tamei until evening. Then he shall be tahar (pure). But if he does not wash {them} or immerse his body, then he shall bear his guilt. (Lev 17:15, 16)
bible iconWhatever man of the descendants of Aaron, who {is} a leper or has a discharge, shall not eat the holy offerings until he is tahar. And whoever touches anything made tamei {by} a corpse, or a man who has had an emission of semen, or whoever touches any creeping thing by which he would be made tamei, or any person by whom he would become tamei, whatever the source of his state of being tamei may be, the person who has touched any such thing shall be tamei until evening, and shall not eat the holy {offerings} unless he immerses his body with water. And when the sun goes down he shall be tahar; and afterward he may eat the holy {offerings,} because it {is} his food. (Lev 22:4-7, NKJ)
bible iconThe pure {person} shall sprinkle the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, wash his clothes, and immerse in water; and at evening he shall be tahar. (Num 19:19)

T'vilah is not just to mark the transition from a common state to a holy one, but can also mark the transition from the holy state back to the common.

bible iconIn this way Aaron shall come into the Holy {Place:} with {the blood of} a young bull as a sin offering, and {of} a ram as a burnt offering. He shall put the holy linen tunic and the linen trousers on his body; he shall be girded with a linen sash, and with the linen turban he shall be attired. These {are} holy garments. Therefore he shall immerse his body in water, and put them on. (Lev 16:3,4)
bible iconThen Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of meeting, shall take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Holy {Place,} and shall leave them there. And he shall immerse his body with water in a holy place, put on his garments, come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and make atonement for himself and for the people. (Lev 16:23, 24)

Those who come into contact with that which bears or atones for sin must put away the effect of that contact:

bible iconAnd he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and immerse his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. (Lev 16:26)
bible iconThe bull {for} the sin offering and the goat {for} the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy {Place,} shall be carried outside the camp. And they shall burn in the fire their skins, their flesh, and their offal. Then he who burns them shall wash his clothes and immerse his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. (Lev 16:27,28)
bible iconThen the heifer shall be burned in his sight: its hide, its flesh, its blood, and its offal shall be burned. And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet, and cast {them} into the midst of the fire burning the heifer. Then the priest shall wash his clothes, he shall immerse in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp; the priest shall be tamei until evening. And the one who burns it shall wash his clothes n water, immerse in water, and shall be tamei until evening. (Num 19:5-8)

T'vilah also marks the transition to a new way of life, as a corporate entity, as well. For example, the waters of the flood essentially cut us off from our past lives, in the evil and wicked world that was wiped out by that flood. We could not go back even if we wanted to. Another example is found in the exodus from Egypt...when the waters of the Sea of Reeds closed in behind us, we were literally cut off from our past as slaves, and behold, our new life as free men, and servants of G-d, was laid out before us. We could not go back:

bible iconMoreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Messiah. (1Cor 10:1-4)

We are to fully immerse our families in the Word of G-d, continuously looking to the future, and putting away that which is not in keeping with that future:

bible iconHusbands, love your wives, just as Messiah also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing (or immersing) of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious congregation, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Eph 5:25-27)
1 Rabbi Wayne Dosick, Living Judaism: The Complete Guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition, and Practice (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995) p. 269

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