You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me at the Mikveh by Anonymous
Ever since I read the article “Humiliated at the Mikveh” I’ve wanted to write up something about why I personally love mikveh and mikveh ladies. But like a lot of things I think of doing, I didn’t get around to it.
But then something happened yesterday that you are not going to believe, and I knew I had to share.
First, a little about me. I made aliya 15 years ago from Australia to a community near Jerusalem. When I first got married, I detested the Family Purity laws, it was so terribly difficult to not touch my husband for two weeks a month. But now, I feel so grateful that we gritted our teeth through those tough years and stuck it out, because my husband and I just celebrated our 22nd anniversary and we are still very physically attracted to each other. And without the periods of separation that Family Purity requires, I think that’s extremely rare.
But in general, for the past 22 years, I have loved loved loved going to the mikveh. I just wrote “love” three times, and here’s why:
1. How often in my busy life do I get to soak myself in a bath for an entire half an hour? Between my kids and my career and my house and my errands, the answer is NEVER. And when I go to the beautiful, newly-built mikveh in our community, I feel like I’m visiting the spa. A bath with no little fists knocking down the door! Pure Heaven!
2. I love the excitement of going to the mikveh—the excitement of dunking in the mikveh and becoming spiritually pure as well as the excitement surrounding the long-awaited event that will take place later that night.
3. I enjoy the atmosphere in the mikveh. It feels like a secret club that everybody goes to but nobody ever talks about. And that secret club is run by the mikveh ladies whom I’ve always found to be sincere, good-hearted, and dedicated.
“Humiliated at the Mikveh” sparked a lot of negative comments about mikveh ladies. It seemed like some women feel like if you know the halachos, and you’ve checked yourself thoroughly, then why is it necessary for a Mikveh lady to be there at all?
So last night I found out why.
Last night at the mikveh I spent longer than usual in the bath—around 45 minutes and did all of my preparations. I have a big problem with loose hairs that get stuck on my back, so after I got out of the bath I spent a minute or two looking at my back in the mirror and picking off the hairs.
And then I rang the bell, and the mikveh lady came to take me to the mikveh. It was “Devora,” a mikveh lady I’ve become friendly with over the past 15 years living in the same community.
Devorah’s oldest daughter is getting married this week, so I asked her about the preparations for the wedding ,and, as usual, I asked her to check my back for loose hairs. And then she said, “What’s this? Look at that!”
And I felt Devora pull something off my lower back and then she presented it to me on the tip of her finger…
It was a sticker from a tangerine!
I guess it had been so low on my back that I hadn’t seen it in the mirror. And no, I have absolutely NO IDEA how a tangerine sticker ended up on my lower back.
But anyway, I told you that I love, love, love going to the mikveh. And I told you that I have always appreciated mikveh ladies and their hard work to help us keep this most crucial of mitzvos.
But now I appreciate them even more. So on behalf of all us married Jewish women I wanted to just say, “Thank you!”:)