My sister called me Erev Pesach, nine months before
I conceived my beautiful, youngest daughter (see the story Mikvah On Time).
Anxiously, she told me she had a big problem. I have to go
to mikvah the first seder! How am I supposed to do that? We have to go to Imas house, a house filled
with guests! They will all see me with no makeup! An hours walk! How can I do
it? Can I not wait and go Chol Hamoed? she asked me, silently pleading for my
approval and agreement. However, true to my own strong conviction that mikvah
immersion should not be delayed, I told her she must do it, she must immerse on
time. She demurred saying she cannot, but I was insistent and at last she
It was still quite cold on the first night of Pesach, but
she bravely walked an hour to the mikvah. When she arrived, imagine her dismay
when the attendant told her that the boiler had just broken and there was no
hot water at all! The mikvah itself was icy cold!
Very discouraged she sat down to rest a minute, catch her
breath and try to warm up a bit from the cold walk. As she was resting, another
woman walked in, hair not covered, wearing slacks, ready to use the mikvah.
She, too, was told that there was absolutely no hot water.
No matter, said the lady. It is my time to immerse and I
will go, hot water or no hot water! Turning to my sister, she said: And you
are coming too!
Her enthusiasm was contagious. My sister immersed and
emerged blue, from the freezing water. She made her way back home in the cold
night, coming to the Seder, with no makeup and a table filled with guests.
She conceived that night.
Nine months later, as she lay in
the hospital, nursing her new baby girl, she caught a glimpse of movement from
the corner of her eye. Looking up, she realized that it was the very same lady
who had gone to the mikvah that night with her, is walking past her room,
pushing a bassinette! My sister called out to her, Do you remember me? Of
course, I remember you! she replied. Mazel Tov! my sister said, I had a
baby girl, what did you have?
Turning to my sister, she smiled
and said, Twin girls! My sister realized, this special woman had been blessed
with double blessings! One bracha for her own mitzvah and one bracha for the part she played in my sister's mitzvah!
When you do your mitzvos b'simcha, wholeheartedly, you may not always immediately see the blessings that result. However, the blessing is there nonetheless, and will be revealed when the time is right.