March 1, 2022

Chagigah 19

In today’s daf (Chagigah 19a) we are taught the principle of אין מטבילין באויר – ‘we do not do immersion mid-air’, and in terms of the context of this statement what it comes to explain is that if one were to throw an item into the arch of a wave, then the immersion would be invalid. Instead, immersion must occur in a body of water that is connected to the ground.
Reflecting on this rule I believe that it can be applied to individuals who – like the transformation that occurs when an item is immersed in a mikveh – wish to undergo a form of spiritual transformation – with the lesson being that transformation needs to occur within a framework that is grounded, rather than one that momentarily exists mid-air.
Oftentimes, an inspirational moment may stir someone’s heart and soul to undergo a form of change, and in that brief moment they may imagine themselves transforming their life.
But while inspiration can occur at any moment, real transformation must be grounded for it to have longevity. Therefore, just as you can’t transform an item by throwing it into the arch of a wave and, instead, must immerse it into water that has its ‘feet’ squarely on the ground, so too, if we want to transform our lives, we need to seize the moment to do so, but make sure that the process that we adopt also has its ‘feet’ squarely on the ground.
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