Against the backdrop of the controversy surrounding separate swimming in springs, Rabbi Ilai Ofran focuses on another modesty issue that occurs in springs, where men immerse themselves in springs, preventing women from accessing the springs.
In this week's column in the 'Shabbaton' newsletter, Rabbi Ilai Ofran provides an overview of the commandment of immersion (tevilah) as part of the purification process that people were required to undergo in the past, a reality that he claims no longer exists today. Rabbi Ofran also argues that "contrary to what we were taught in kindergarten – it's not that 'we no longer have a red heifer today,' but the Sages established such extreme criteria for the perfection and purity of such a heifer that they essentially removed from our culture the possibility of purifying from the impurity of the deceased. We are all impure from the moment we enter the world, and there is no need to struggle with this."
Therefore, Rabbi Ofran asserts further in his statements that "since the halacha was established in this manner, all these opportunistic immersions (except for the immersions of niddah, utensils, and those entering the Temple Mount) – whether it's a daily immersion, an immersion on Friday, or an immersion on the eve of Yom Kippur – have become an action devoid of halachic significance. There is no such obligation, no such commandment, no such halacha, and consequently, there is no religious purpose in it and no essential significance. This practice has become a sort of alternative sport for those who have grown bored with fulfilling commandments and observing halacha."
"Simply put," he points out, "this public arrogance has no spiritual backing and no religious validity. Returning to these concepts is renouncing the Oral Torah, and skipping over the Halacha we received from the Sages from the Talmud to the present day - "from the Bible to the Palmach" in a religious version . In our world, a man who is looking for more purity, should not jump naked into a spring. For starters, he should just get dressed."