Mikvah Mania

Post by Melissa

Mikvah is becoming quite a hot topic lately in the Jewish blogosphere, and I am proud to be a part of that.  The comments to my recent post, spurred other posts, and eventually greater awareness and involvement of the trials women face in observing this great mitzvah. In fact, a prominent Jewish Tweeter commented today that is seemed to be “Mikvah Month” – my response – Great! Its about time!

The blog posts, comments, and tweets which have abounded on this topic lately have really shown a light on a part of the Mikvah experience which is so rarely exposed – the behavior of the attendants.  While people have opinions across the spectrum from their action being completely independent to the belief that they are fulfilling some divine order. We are talking about it.  Shattering the silence which for far too long has encased this ritual practice.  Regardless of how you feel about mikvah or its attendents, it is quite empowering to be a part of such culture shift.

Our regular readers all know that I am passionate about the mikvah expereince and about talking about it. Not when I go, obviously that is a private matter, but the concept of going and what the experience is like.  I believe that mikvah is an empowering ritual for women, and not a degrading one at all. I believe it is an extremely feminist ritual at that. It is about owning your own body, recognizing it for what it is, and getting in touch with thousands of years of women doing so before you.  While I realize halachically, this is not what it is, its what it feels like to me and based on what I’ve seen lately, to many other women as well.

So lets keep it up ladies! Raise some noise and be empowered by the mikvah revolution which seems to be spreading across the continent. Keep talking, blogging, and posting about what you read, hear, and experience.  Also, if you have ever had a negative experience with a mikvah attendant (ie – quesitoning your Jewish-ness or marrital status) please email me at melissa @ redefiningrebbetzin dot com to anonymously lend your story to the communal voice.

Many thanks to everyone who has been standing up for the rights of women who want to use the mikvah to uphold the laws of family purity, and want to be free to do so in a meaningful manner. We couldn’t be doing what we are without you and we cannot be silenced now.

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11 thoughts on “Mikvah Mania

  1. Yay for mikvah!!!

    As much as I talk it up to kallot, I haven’t had a single one in all these years go to mikvah.

    We require all of our gerim to go and each one, without exception, comes back with a deep spiritual story to share.

    Fighting somewhat of a losing battle in my community, I think.

    {{sigh…}}}

  2. I would go to ours, but… I don’t get that opportunity. If you know what I mean? I don’t want to over-share. 😉

    But I went right before we got married, and it was nice. Not life-changing, spiritual or transcendent. But nice. Everyone should have the chance to have at least a nice mikvah experience!

  3. When it came time for my ritual “dunk” as it were for my conversion I was so excited…that was until I saw the bill…close to $200 for a one time thing. I guess to me it took a little out of the magic of it all and it went from being a religious experience to more of a political transaction. Ill let you know how it goes in a few days 🙂

  4. I really like that this topic is coming out into the open.

    Here in Washington, DC our local Jewish theater company is in the middle of a month-long production of an Israeli play called Mikveh by Hadar Galron. The play does not present the most positive view of mikvah (it takes place in a Haredi neighborhood). As the coordinator of DC’s only liberal mikvah, I took the opportunity to get involved with it and to present alternate views of mikvah alongside the more traditional ones portrayed in the play through post-show talk, the theater’s blog, postings in the lobbies. It has been an amazing opening for dialogue between the different mikvahs, balaniot and mikvah users in our community.

    Here are two pieces that I wrote for the theater’s blog, this one
    is about what mikvah means to me personally.
    http://theaterjblogs.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/making-the-mikveh-meaningful-from-naomi-malka/

    This one is about how I got involved professionally in this production….
    http://theaterjblogs.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/what-mikveh-means-to-me-another-intimate-reflection/

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