A Mikveh’s Lady’s Extraordinary Act of Kindness

A Mikveh’s Lady’s Extraordinary Act of Kindness

First of all, I need to tell you that I think mikveh ladies are incredible. They sacrifice their nights for very little or no pay in order to enable us Jewish women to perform an important mitzvah. Imagine what that’s like. Not being able to attend weddings or other evening simchas or events. Not being able to just to chill out at home at the end of a long day.
But a friend just told me an incredible story that upped my regard for mikveh ladies even more.
My friend was recently on a trip to the US on her mikveh night and while waiting at the mikveh, her conversation with the local mikveh lady wandered over to the challenges that dunking in a mikveh poses to women with OCD.
In their community, the mikveh lady told my friend, there is a woman with OCD who is obsessed with germs and extreme cleanliness. She is therefore repulsed by the idea of dunking in a mikveh which has already been used by other women.
So, at that mikveh, the mikveh ladies coordinate replacing the mikveh’s water with this woman’s monthly cycle, so she is able to be the first woman to dunk in the new water every time she visits the mikveh.
What sensitivity, what kindness. Just one of thousands of secret acts of kindness performed by our unsung mikveh ladies on a regular basis, I’m sure.
May Hashem repay our mikveh ladies’ kindnesses a thousand-fold!

4 comments

  1. Bs”d.
    Wow nice, thanks for sharing:).

  2. I totally see how this is an extraordinary act! But as a CBT therapist who has treated women with OCD and specifically having to do with mikveh issues, it’s really important to refer these women to get the help they need. For these women going to the mikveh, along with the preparations that go along with it, can be torturous. It’s important for the balanit to be conscious of these issues and not necessarily play into the hands of the disorder.

  3. Having been a mikveh lady for 17 years I can say that there are women who suffer from OCD and other issues. As a young naive woman I asked one woman if she eats legumes, after all, they need checking. The answer was a resounding no!
    As Orli wrote, it is torture, for her, her husband and the mikveh lady, and the Posek. There are creative ways to deal with the issue. Some hire a coach to go with them. I physically prepared women. A Posek can find many ways to define the tasks in categories, and even decide that certain tasks do not have to be done.
    Yes, it was frustrating for me, but one day I realized there is a lesson here. Just think how Hashem feels when we are “driving Him crazy”, He stills treats us with love and compassion. I tried to love the women through the tasks and teach her some guidelines.
    May that mikveh lady be blessed, and may there be many more like her!

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