A Mikvah Poem by Anonymous

A Mikvah Poem by Anonymous

An anonymous eema just Emailed (eema-iled) this poem to me, and I thought it was quite exquisite and moving…Makes me think of the multitude of secret stories hidden within every JewishMOMs heart.

An unseen cycle deep within
Reaches its apex, begins to wane
With the first drop of blood a wisp of death And the glass wall comes down between me and my husband

An awkward separation here
Disjointed passing babies back and forth Accidentally brushing past, a startled jerk Conversation sometimes feels like two strangers

All along, it’s flowing away
The cocoon that might have held a new brother It’s not necessary to mourn for what never was.
And bubbles of hope, this may be a new beginning.

A sea of white all around
Twice a day, but always on my mind
And one tiny dab of color discordant fear And I am left hanging hanging hanging Floating in space without a rope

As the days thud on monotonously
Twice a day, is it all a waste?
Still waiting, waiting wondering wishing

Finally a decisive psak
And I am wooshed back down to earth
Counting, counting, is it almost over?
Relief that now I know where I am

Until one final check and I sit and soak An almost surreal time, forced relaxation Intense focus over parts of me That usually suffice with a swipe in the shower

Nervousness, can something still pull me away?
Is the mikvah lady getting impatient with me?
Will I miss a scab that will send me back here?
Can I get all the hairs off, and what of the flaking skin?
Forced calm. It’s okay, you’re doing just fine.
Just follow the chart and He’ll do the rest

Almost in tears, enveloped in the water
A transparent shield at my most vulnerable

Awkward attempts to submerge properly
Kavana! I demand and am amused at myself Think holiness! I attempt desperately But my overwhelming thought is relief, almost done!

As I emerge waterlogged wiping water from my eyes Almost shaking as I get dressed clean and fresh The night air a shock to damp hair beneath the shaitel My husband’s face waits hopefully As I say, at last, I am pure.


  1. This is beautiful!

  2. Deborah C.

    Love it love it love it 🙂

  3. Wow, awesome! Touchs the exact thoughts/feelings… how did she know me so well?!

  4. teacupsmommy

    Hi. I’m not Jewish so I hope I don’t get kicked off of her but I wondered if someone could explain to me what she is talking about. I read the poem and liked it but I don’t understand it. I have always loved the heritage of the Jewish faith and it’s timelessness. I don’t know why, I just do. I found this page when I was offering condolences to Leiby Kletzky’s family and I signed up. I hope that’s okay. Thanks for your time.

  5. teacupsmommy

    I looked Mikvah and now I understand it. It is beautiful. It’s for things like this that I love the Jewish faith.

    • What is your religion? Sounds like you are more than naturally drawn, I would posit Supernally….
      Maybe this poem was meant to be written just so that you would read it: the Mikva is also the last/first step for a person before becoming Jewish.
      I wish you much happiness on your spiritual journey…

  6. This is so amazing! really inspiring, just the right wording.

  7. lovely poem. thanx.

  8. Beautiful! Captures the experience so well…

  9. Hi, how wonderful that the author shared with us feelings that no doubt countless women have about observing Taharat HaMishpacha. I am concerned with the level of fear that the author expresses in whether her tevilah is kosher, and with her bedikot- but I’ll talk about tevilah. The Ramban, in Hilchot Niddah Perek 9, has a wonderful halacha which I think should be available for all women to read before and after tevilah, to relax them and help them realize that all is well with their immersion:
    “And from the laws of barriers: It’s not good for a person to be too stringent, and to seek out all doubts in order to disqualify her immersion with the simplest thing, for there is no end to it! Rather, after she washed her hair, and brushed it with a comb, and washed her entire body with hot water, and she was careful not to touch any type of barrier, and she immerses her entire body with spreading out her limbs and body, a person should not let stringent doubts into her head that have absolutely no end to them. For example, she should not worry that she closed her eyes too much, or pursed her lips too much, or any other doubt. After all, who can really judge what’s considered closing her eyes too much?!”

    Mikveh is an amazing chance for renewal, an amazing chance to be in touch with the core of what it means to be alive before our Master, and to work with our spouses on breaking down all barriers and frustrations between ourselves, and truly experience rebirth on so many levels. It can help us put the concepts of our finite nature into a redemptive context. I bless us all that we are able to continue to deepen our understanding of the capacity that mikveh has to help us live redeemed lives!

  10. Love it. So true

    • I loved this too for the way it captures our experience. But I winced at the mention of an impatient mikve lady. I’m a mikve lady — our first response, and our second, and our third, is always patience. I can’t speak for the woman who is tired or ill, but most balaniot want only the best for their ladies. If not, they should find another [better paid!] job.

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