There’s a lot of things going on right now in my life related to taking on new things, but I am thinking about one thing in particular at the moment.
I’m starting “kallah (bridal) classes” this coming week. Yes, we’ve been married since September 2007, but the truth is, we moved right before the wedding, and I really had minimal exposure to what I was supposed to be doing with mikvah. It wasn’t important at that point in time in my life, and it just hasn’t been any where in my priorities until now.
It’s always been something that has interested me, and as several people could attest, it’s something I’ve asked about in various contexts over the past few years. However, I just never got around to really doing something about it. Once we realized that the whole R becoming a rabbi thing was going to be a reality, I started thinking more and more about this particular aspect of my life. We keep kosher, we keep Shabbat – but what about this? And so I started looking into it. Clearly, Melissa is a big supporter of the cause, but since we don’t actually live in the same city at the moment (I love the internet!) there were limited opportunities to talk to her about it and she couldn’t be the one to hold my hand through it. I talked to another friend about it, and even got her notes from her kallah class, which I devoured, but it still wasn’t enough to push me over the edge. I bought a book about it (Taking the Plunge – here – excellent, if a little hard to get) which was a great resource and helped me feel more comfortable.
Nothing was pushing me over the edge, and, as it often is, it was an unlikely conversation that prompted me to really do something about it. On the seventh day of Passover, R and I somehow got onto the topic of our immersions before our wedding, which took place in a lake nearby where we got married. It was deserted and the park district seemed a little mystified, if okay, with our request for a “ritual bath.” So we went, on two different days, but I think our difference in experience had to do more with attitude than anything else. He thought of it as an adventure. I thought of it as something that meant that I didn’t really get the celebration of mikvah that I hadn’t really known I’d wanted until I didn’t have it. The longer we’ve been married, I think, the more I realize that I might have missed out. And I wanted to fix that. So, I had a conversation with our program director, who is a really lovely woman, and we set it up to start this coming Monday.
In a way, this is probably the first time I’ve really done something with the specific idea that I’m going to be a rabbi’s wife as part of my motivation., and that feels like some kind of milestone. Not only that, I feel like it marks some kind of transition in my life, although I’m not sure exactly what. I’m hoping to learn a lot and to find meaning and joy..and deal with the lingering feelings of doubt and uncertainty. I’ll keep you updated.