Chafifah: Preparation for Mikvah. The very word brings tremors to many women. Women who dread their time preparing for the mikvah! They worry and agonize - cutting, plucking, picking and scrubbing at themselves until they are raw. Then, once they have immersed in the mikvah, they fret and obsess so uncertain they have done everything correctly, that they remove any semblance of joy in the mitzvah.
This is not Hashem's intent. He gave us mitzvot to bring His G-dliness down to this world. He gave us mitzvot that He wishes to be done to the very best of our ability. This ability does not mean tearing ourselves apart to get the mitzvah done. It means to follow halacha (Jewish Law) and do what we need to do to prepare and accomplish the mitzvah.
Of course it is important to do all we can to prepare correctly and certainly we must do our best. But we must also realize that our best does not mean to abuse ourselves! It does not mean to stress and aggravate ourselves, and our spouses, to the point that every last drop of joy in the performance of the mitzvah is drained away leaving only misery and tension in its place.
Chafifa - preparation for mikvah is important. It is this preparation that ensures that all the holy waters of the mikvah touch upon our very essence, filling our pores and permeating our souls.
Halacha is very clear on what must and must not be done, and we must, in this as in all things, not add to the laws given to us. We must follow them and abide by them. We must ask questions of a competent rabbi if we are uncertain of what to do in any particular situation. What we must not do is make ourselves ill with worry. What we must not do is perform a mitzvah in abject misery.
So prepare for mikvah with a joyful heart. Know that you are doing all you need to do to prepare for the sacred mikvah immersion. Let the beauty of the mitzvah fill you with joy in the performance of Hashem's will. Let your heart fill with the happiness of reuniting with your husband.
Here is a list that has been approved by Rabbi Sholom Ber Chaikin on how to prepare for your mikvah immersion. Please review it carefully, print out a copy to take with you to the mikvah and refer to it as you need to calm yourself and know that you are doing all you need to do for a kosher mikvah immersion.
In the merit of all righteous Jewish women around the world, may Moshiach come speedily!