I was delighted to read the article by Heidi Hass about her Mikvah
experience with Bronya Shaffer.
I met Bronya many years ago when my husband and I were about to celebrate our
50th anniversary. She was a guest speaker at a women's Torah study group and she
taught us about mikvah. Following her talk, I asked her to tell me more
and at her suggestion I decided to do this ceremony prior to our anniversary
celebration. Bronya took me to a mikvah in a small town in upstate New York.
After I immersed myself in the mikvah, she presented me with flowers, a bottle
of wine and a pair of candles. I can't say why, but tears began to flow and I
felt like something happened to me that never happened before. Like Heidi, I
felt connected to all the generations of Jewish women, past and future. I asked
Bronya how I could ever repay her. She said: "Take this gift and when the time
comes you will pass it on to someone else. Maybe even your grandaughter some
Last year, my grandaughter introduced me to her Jewish fiance. I was so
overwhelmed with happiness. I said I would like to give her a special gift. I
took her to the mikvah, which I had prearranged, and I showered her with flowers
and led her to the mikvah waters. She cried and cried. I gave her a gold Star of
David to wear and told her, "One day you will have a daughter and she will grow
up and get married to a Jewish man. I want you to pass on this gift to her, the
gift of mikvah. The gold Star of David is for her to pass on to her daughter and
so we will forever pass on this gift to the Jewish women in our family."
This is my experience of the mikvah. Thank you for allowing me to share it.