My Mikvah Sacred Bath

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SB-blog-040Mikvahs are Judaic baths still used for spiritual purification in a natural or constructed body of water with precise specifications in size and contents. It’s a metaphor of restoration. A mikvah is like a womb where you are reborn. The practice of sexual abstinence during menstruation for women is that they can’t have sex during their period and for seven days after (so twelve days of abstinence). Then they have a mikvah after. This is still practiced by orthodox women. It is also said that a scribe who writes God’s name must first immerse himself in a mikvah. And rabbis of the talmud stressed that mikvahs were so important that if a community had neither synagogue or mikvah, the mikvah took priority.

In a mikvah ceremony the woman asks God to come to her home and to be part of her marriage. There’s a prayer about her getting a new heart and Spirit and her kavannah (intention) is very important. Then she dunks under the water three times. Your body must be free of any jewelry or foreign objects.

While I was writing this book I wanted to try a mikvah so I could write about the spiritual value of bathing from personal experience. I waited five days of my period and then counted seven more, a total of twelve days. I was married and Jewish so I was a mikvah candidate. I searched online and found a mikvah not too far from me. The attendant there, Sara, was very kind and she told me she would be there that Saturday evening from 7- 9 pm. I’d forgotten that the mikvah opens after sundown so you may want a ride if you are going there late. It was snowing when I went, so my husband drove me and waited outside. Sara explained where to disrobe and leave my things. She gave me a robe and a towel and I left my pocketbook and clothes in a small bathroom with a door that opened into a mikvah.

The mikvah looked like a small rectangular hot tub with no jets and there were stairs leading down to it. Sara stood above and waited, telling me what to do. I’d forgotten to remove four rings and a bracelet so she held them. I also had silver nail polish on but she said that was okay this time. She explained that the idea was to go into the mikvah “natural,” as you were when you were a baby. She said that it was special water because it was rainwater that was changed daily, and the rabbis blessed it and it was kept warm.

As I walked down the stairs into the mikvah, there was a small sign taped to the wall with the Hebrew and English transliteration of the prayer I would say. I had bathed and showered at home but the first dunk was in lieu of a shower there. Sara explained to put my arms straight down into the water with me and said not to hold my nose. I said the prayer and dunked under the water three more times.

Sara explained that this ritual brings fertility and good luck for my marriage and my two children. I asked her if single women were allowed to do a mikvah to attract love (since I am a dating expert) and she said that Jewish single women were allowed to do a mikvah only on Erev Yom Kippur or on the night of Yom Kippur. This ritual brought blessings to them, including possibly attracting marriage. So any single Jewish ladies reading this, consider doing this sacred bathing ritual on Yom Kippur!

Sara reminded me of Miriam putting Moses into the water. Her job is to aid women to go into the water to regenerate and reconnect to God in their soul’s purpose and to raise the vibration of their lives and relationships. Maybe in my own secular way that’s what I am trying to do too with this book.

The night after my mikvah I went to sleep and awoke at 3 am. This poem came to me whole. I scrawled it in my notebook:

 

AMEN

The waters come and go

Rise to the top

I dunk down

Anew

Reconnect with G-d

Shekhinah

Myself

I feel whole & rise to the top

 

My date with the Divine

Is simple and clean

But no words

Can express the profundity

 

One moment can change

My direction, my intention

My alignment

With my Soul

 

No longer divided

Eden’s here now

In the water

 

In me

Out there

Everywhere

Like Reiki energy

 

We dance, united

Submerging undone

I laugh in joy, knowing,

New life has begun

 

Throughout each day I live

With the movement of reunion

I stay present and say,

Amen.

As you go through the process of doing your own sacred bath rituals, I suggest that you keep a notebook at hand to journal or to write poetry about your experience. You will be inspired. You are actively creating and shaping something new, both within and without.

My Best in Love and Bathing,

Paulette

www.sacredbathing.com

Psychologist, life coach and author of, The Book of Sacred Baths, published by Llewellyn Worldwide.

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