The beautiful new state-of- the-art Fallsburg Community Mikvah has been operating since the beginning of this summer season, with overwhelming positive response and feedback from the community. Located in the heart of the Fallsburg community, the site is surrounded by over a thousand frum families within close walking distance, and very centrally located to the larger Catskill community. Until now there had been no convenient Mikvah within walking distance of this hub of frum families thereby creating all kinds of difficulties on Shabbos. During the week as well, the options were very limited, the need has been constantly increasing, and the standards have not been on par with what people are used to in the city. For that reason, the fact that the Mikvah is now in use is truly a breakthrough of historic proportions.
The Mikvah is under the supervision of Rav Moshe Menachem Weiss, the Pupa Dayan from Boro Park, and Rav Yisroel Shlomowitz, Dayan of South Fallsburg, who have been involved in the project throughout the construction.
According to Reb Shimon Lefkowitz, an askan who has been instrumental in helping spearhead the project, the job, nevertheless is not yet completed. “At this point, we have only been able to complete construction on the first phase of the Mikvah, with only about forty percent of the Mikvah operational. We are still in the final stages of completing the other sixty percent of the project and require the community’s financial involvement and moral support to see this historic project – the birthright of every frum community – to completion.”
Reb Moshe Gutman, another askan managing the project added, “In the past few years many potential supporters have been skeptical about if and when this project would ever become operational. Baruch Hashem it is finally a reality. Now we urgently need the community’s help to totally complete the project.”
Begun by the Fathers, Completed by their Sons
The Mikvah Project was initiated over a decade ago by two prominent askanim, who have since passed away, Rabbi Yisroel Lefkowitz, z”l, and Rabbi Yossi Gutman, z”l. Their sons, Reb Shimon Lefkowitz and Reb Moshe Gutman, along with other family members, have spearheaded the project in memory of their fathers. “When our fathers bought the land for this Mikvah on Brickman Road in Fallsburg there were only about 100 families spending the summer in the area. Now there are over 1,000 and the numbers are constantly growing. Our fathers understood that it was the halachic obligation of any frum community to provide a Mikvah for its inhabitants, and to construct it to the highest standards possible. We are so gratified that after years of tremendous effort and challenges, the Mikvah is finally up and running. Nevertheless, we also deeply want to be able to finish the job so that the spiritual life of the Fallsburg community and the general Catskills community will be enhanced appropriately.”
The Mikvah will be holding a beautiful event iy”H this Sunday, 7 Av/July 30, the Sunday before Tisha B’Av, from 1-2:30pm, where new mezuzos will be installed. Numerous Gedolei Rabbonim representing the cross-section of the community who have been intimately involved in the Mikvah’s construction and encouraging the community to see the initiative through to completion, will participate in the event. The event will be both a celebration of the past, a hodaah al ha’ovar – as well as a plea for the future, a bakasha al ha’asid, calling on the wider community to come together b’achdus and see the project to its completion.
The Building of a Mikvah Supersedes All Other Mitzvos!
Reb Moshe Gutman relates, “A tremendous amount of credit goes to the Rabbonim who have stood behind the project, spearheaded it and often actively participated in helping develop the resources necessary for the project to move forward. They include luminaries such as the Novominsker Rebbe, Rav Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel Bick, Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, Rav Avrohom Schorr, Rav Noach Isaac Oelbaum and Rav Yaakov Horowitz, amongst others. A special hakaras hatov goes to Rav Yitzchok Trieger, the foremost authority on Mikvah design in the world, who has been critically involved in nearly every aspect of kashrus and building design since the inception of the project.
“It is no secret that helping build a Mikvah is a zechus that reaps great reward not only in the next world but in this world as well. There are so many stories of people who have extended themselves in support of the construction of Mikvaos who have been blessed with children, with refuos, and with divinely orchestrated shidduchim that boggle the mind. Without a doubt, helping to construct a Mikvah is something that creates a tremendous eis ratzon in shomayim.”
The mandate that the building of a Mikvah supersedes virtually every other mitzvah is rooted in halacha. The Chofetz Chaim wrote, “Building a Mikvah takes precedence over building a shul, buying a sefer Torah and all other mitzvos.” Similarly, the Chazon Ish said, “The first place one should give tzedaka is to a Mikvah.” The late posek hador of our generation, Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, paskened that “It is preferable to give maaser money for the construction of a mikvah than for other mitzvos.”
“Even without getting the word out that the Mikvah is operational the Mikvah has been extremely busy,” says Reb Shimon Lefkowitz. “The community has been thrilled with the new Mikvah and it is critical that we go beyond the 40% of capacity that we are now at to be able to handle the demand. In order to become fully operational we still need to raise $500,000. We invite the community to come to the kevias mezuzah ceremony on Sunday, July 30, between 1:00 and 2:30 PM, to see what has been accomplished. Baruch Hashem we have already done so much but there still remains work to do to bring the project to completion so that we can service the entire community. We welcome and urge everyone to participate and experience the bracha that comes
The Mikvah is located at 195 Brickman Road, in Fallsburg, across from Lake Forest. Dedication opportunities are available. To participate in and help in the completion of this vital mitzvah please call 845-915-1200, or E-mail [email protected]. To learn more about the Fallsburg Community Mikvah, and view pictures of the state-of- the-art facility, please visit its Website www.fallsburgmikvah.org.