by Leah Robbins, Administrative and Marketing Assistant
Every morning, I am first to arrive at Mayyim Hayyim. I am here when the building is silent and the pools still. Sometimes on my way to my desk, I peek into the atrium near the water and peer into the mikveh room. It’s quiet, the water is undisturbed. It’s during these moments that I can’t help but laugh to myself. Before moving here, I was on a never-ending, painstaking search for Jewish life that was rich with meaning, that challenged and enhanced my Judaism… and here I am. Somehow I ended up on the payroll of the poster-child of fulfilling and embodied Jewish practice.
Still, despite the enormous blessing that was my journey to Mayyim Hayyim, I’ve never immersed in the mikveh. I’ve been enamored with the magic of this ritual for a few years now. I’ve heard hundreds of stories of its powers of transformation, of healing, of renewal. I’ve watched as it has carried loved ones through life’s most profound joys and wearisome struggles. I’ve studied its origins, its holiness, and its sacred place in the landscape of our ancient tradition. But I’ve never felt the waters embrace me. I’ve never been enveloped by the enormous, spiritual power found in the water.
I’m trying my hardest to save this experience for a bridal immersion someday. God only knows when that will be (I’m taking suggestions for shidduchs [matchmaking])! I’ll admit, holding out to experience the mystical charm of the ritual is one of the biggest tests of discipline in my life. Between my morning moments of solace in the mikveh rooms, the ecstatic celebrations of those jumping out of the water as new Jews, and the innumerable heart-warming stories of those who have found refuge in the water, it’s nearly impossible not to answer the earsplitting call to the water.
In the meantime, I feel lucky to share in your mikveh moments of healing and renewal, to play a role, however small, in your stories of transition and change.
That being said, keep your eyes peeled for what will hopefully be the immersion story of the decade…my own!