Adel Snetkov’s home in Khabarovsk is closer to China and Japan than any major metropolis in Russia. Its remote location means the young rabbi’s wife must travel 8,000 miles round-trip every month, just to take a bath.

“I pray for the day when our Jewish community center opens and I can go to the mikvah without leaving town,” she says, wearily sipping a cup of tea.

It is her one indulgence in a day of marathon travel. Snetkov took a 9-hour overnight flight to Moscow so she could spend two hours at the ritual bath required each month of all observant Jewish women. When she finishes her tea, the 24-year-old mother of three will go straight to the airport for another 9-hour flight home.

Taharat mishpacha, or family purity, requires that married women cleanse themselves at the mikvah once a month after they finish menstruating to prepare for resuming sexual relations with their husbands.

Under Soviet rule, Jewish women risked their lives to visit illegal mikvaot secreted in the basements of Tashkent, Moscow and Kiev.

Designed for the modern Jewish woman, they are clean, beautiful, inviting and discreet. Yet many more are needed, especially in remote areas. Even now, one young Russian Jew makes an 18-hour round trip by plane from her home near Vladivostok each month for a 2-hour visit to the mikvah in Moscow.