At the Side of the 70-Year-Old Bride

At the Side of the 70-Year-Old Bride

This week I had unusual experience. A dear friend of ours, a widow in her 70s, got married again. And I had the privilege of accompanying her to the Mikveh.

We were all so excited–the bride, the mikveh lady, and me. Taking any bride-to-be to the mikveh is exciting, but an older widow who has found love again? That’s even more exciting than usual!

When my friend was preparing for the mikveh in the special flower-bedecked room for brides, the mikveh lady and I waited outside, and I asked her question that I’d been wondering about…

“She doesn’t really have to go the mikveh before her wedding, right? She’s still pure from the last time she went to the mikveh, before her husband died…”

And the lovely mikveh lady shook her head vociferously, as she opened up her thick book of halachic questions and answers, the mikveh lady bible, I guess. And she showed me the following surprising halacha:

“Even an elderly bride-to-be who went to the mikveh her whole life (when she was previously married) and is now…after menopause. And now, in reality, she is pure because the last time she saw blood she immersed in accordance with Jewish law. Despite this, she is obligated to count 7 clean days and to immerse in a kosher mikveh with a blessing before her wedding, in accordance with Jewish law.”

After my friend immersed and got dressed, with great emotion she read the prayer recited after going to the mikveh,

“…May it be Your will that our home
will be a home of peace, of love, of friendship…”

And at length, she blessed the mikveh lady that her 30-year-old son and 27-year old daughter will get married this year…

And she brought great joy to the taxi driver, who was around her age, when he heard that he was transporting a bride-to-be on her wedding day…”Bless me that I should also get married again too!”

And I thought of the new halacha I had learned that morning, and decided it was possibly the most beautiful halacha I ever heard!

A halacha that whispers into the ear of every older bride, “You have lived a long life. I know it hasn’t always been easy. In fact, a lot of it has been extremely hard. But like a newborn baby exiting his mother’s womb, today, at your chuppah, you can start again.”

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9 comments

  1. That’s interesting. I took my husband’s grandmother to the mikvah when I also had to go. A Russian wonderful person, in her 80s, who has never been to the mikvah. We showed up at the gorgeous mikvah and she was besides herself. The spa like feeling. The mikvah ladies were very confused. I explained that she’s never been and her husband was alive at the time. They called a Rav and were instructed not to say “kosher” when she went down. But Baruch Hashem she went and she loved the experience.

  2. she should have a beautiful,healthy marriage with her husband!

  3. Sounds like an amazing woman, this kallah! :))

  4. Shoshana Rachel

    Wow! So inspiring. Thank you

  5. Wow that is so beautiful, thanks for sharing!

  6. I do not understand. Why were they instructed not to say “Kosher”?

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