Mikvah* is becoming quite a hot topic lately in the Jewish blogosphere, and I am proud to be a part of that. The comments to my recent post, spurred other posts, and eventually greater awareness and involvement of the trials women face in observing this great mitzvah. In fact, a prominent Jewish Tweeter commented today that is seemed to be “Mikvah Month” – my response – Great! Its about time!
The blog posts, comments, and tweets which have abounded on this topic lately have really shown a light on a part of the Mikvah experience which is so rarely exposed – the behavior of the attendants. While people have opinions across the spectrum from their action being completely independent to the belief that they are fulfilling some divine order. We are talking about it. Shattering the silence which for far too long has encased this ritual practice. Regardless of how you feel about mikvah or its attendentsj, it is quite empowering to be a part of such culture shift.
The regular readers of Redefining Rebbetzin know that I am passionate about the mikvah expereince and about talking about it. Not when I go, obviously that is a private matter, but the concept of going and what the experience is like. I believe that mikvah is an empowering ritual for women, and not a degrading one at all. I believe it is an extremely feminist ritual at that. It is about owning your own body, recognizing it for what it is, and getting in touch with thousands of years of women doing so before you. While I realize halachically, this is not what it is, its what it feels like to me and based on what I’ve seen lately, to many other women as well.
So, lets keep it up ladies! Raise some noise and be empowered by the mikvah revolution which seems to be spreading across the continent. Keep talking, blogging, and posting about what you read, hear, and experience. Also, if you have ever had a negative experience with a mikvah attendant (ie – quesitoning your Jewish-ness or marrital status) please email me at melissa @ redefiningrebbetzin dot com to anonymously lend your story to the communal voice.
Many thanks to everyone who has been standing up for the rights of women who want to use the mikvah to uphold the laws of family purity, and want to be free to do so in a meaningful manner. We couldn’t be doing what we are without you.
(Originally published at RedefiningRebbetzin.com)
*For more information on Mikvah visit mikvah.org