Experiencing Mikvah

Experiencing Mikvah “So” – my beautiful Rebbetzin Channie said to me one day – “Rose, what are we doing special for your 70th birthday – a mitzvah, something special?”

“Well, Channie,” I replied, “I’ve never experienced mikvah and I’d like to!’  Even though at my age it is not required.  How does that sound?”


Channie, naturally was delighted and the teaching process began.

She gave me a good book to read, “The Secret of Jewish Femininity: Insights into the Practice of Taharat Hamishpacha.”

We had to plan this very discreetly, as I live in Ste Agathe des Monts, 60 miles north of Montreal, where I was planning to go to the mikvah.  Also, I rarely drive to Montreal by myself, so all the planning had to include my husband and Channie.

Dates were looked into and discussed and the pre-mikvah teaching process began.  I wanted to follow exactly the laws of harchakot (separation).  Channie and I discussed the process very carefully and my husband graciously and lovingly went along with me on the various restrictions.

It was an eye-opener for me.  Even though I was raised in a traditional Jewish home, and also raised my children (3 sons) in a very traditional Jewish way, mikvah was not a part of our life.  My mother was widowed at age 55 years, when I was 10 years old, and there were no men in our home (not till I was married) and even then it was not part of my life.

The mitzvah of mikvah is what truly touched me.  This was very special and something I did not know. I realize only now how important it is to the Jewish family, for the mother and wife to observe the laws of mikvah.

I was very careful to observe the shiva niki’im (seven preparatory days) and when the time came to go to the mikvah, I was truly like a young bride – apprehensive, excited and eager.

I was surprised at the beauty and cleanliness of the mikvah building. The preparation process is a time for thought and meditation on body and soul.  I became thoroughly relaxed and cherished every moment.

Experiencing the immersion is an event every Jewish woman is blessed to observe.  I felt I was starting a new cycle of life at age 70 and I will always thank my beautiful Rebbetzin Channie Carlebach for helping me.


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