My Rosh Hashana Baby

My Rosh Hashana Baby

“Rosh Hashana? The first night of Rosh Hashana?” my husband repeated over and over again in dismay, when I told him the schedule of my next mikvah immersion. An immersion that I had been anticipating with great excitement since it was the first time in five years that I was finally able to attempt conception. “How can you go on Rosh Hashana? Between synagogue, cooking, guests and more, it will be nearly impossible to accomplish!”

I, too, felt discouraged – so much cooking and preparation getting ready for the holiday!! Adding mikvah preparations to the mix just felt completely overwhelming. So if both of us feel this way, what is so terrible about postponing my immersion for a couple of days. It would be so much calmer and relaxing to go after the holiday!

The week of my immersion arrived. I called the mikvah to verify their hours that week and as the mikvah attendant, who answered the phone, gave me the information, my stomach fell. The kindness in her voice prompted me to ask one more question. “I am just wondering if it is alright to postpone my immersion for a day or so, the timing is just impossible!”

She was quiet for a moment, and then gently asked: “Are you or your husband sick?”

 “No”, I answered.

“Are either of you going to be out of town on mikvah night?” she asked.

“No”, I replied.

“So what is so impossible?” she asked softly.

“Well,” I answered tremulously, “it is Rosh Hashana. There is so much work to do, so many guests arriving, synagogue  to attend! I cannot imagine begin relaxed enough, or finding the extra time needed to prepare for mikvah on top of all of that!” As the words left my lips I began to tremble and shake.

The mikvah attendant responded carefully and gently. “You will both be fine! The beautiful mitzvah of mikvah should not be postponed unless absolutely necessary. This year you will be more organized in your preparations and you will see that all will be fine. In the merit of keeping this mitzvah on time, you will see that everything will work out perfectly!”

“Well”, I said shyly, “this is the first time in five years that I am trying to get pregnant.”

“Beautiful!” she responded, ”Wouldn't it be great if it was a Rosh Hashana baby!?”

This last sentence echoed in my ears. I can hear her words, even now, three years later.

I hung up the phone determined to keep the mitzvah in the manner and the time it was meant to be kept. Her gentle demeanor and encouraging words gave me the determination to do what needed to be done, with joy and happiness. I told my husband and he agreed that we certainly should make the effort. Rosh Hashana came and went. Everything worked out perfectly with G-d’s help and mikvah was kept on schedule, in a relaxed and wonderful way.

I was somewhat disappointed that I did not immediately conceive. I had been so certain that making the effort I had made would surely bring the blessing of conception! I relaxed and reassured myself that G-d has a time for everything, and all that He does if for good. So I waited for the next month and then the next…Patience is not my strong suit! After the third month came and went I began to worry. Of course, I began to do research about conceiving at my age, worried about never conceiving and then worried some more! I also realized the importance of beginning my count of the seven preparatory days on time. Often, especially at that time of year, when sunset came so early, I would forget and this would delay my mikvah immersion. It was important to get to mikvah on time, every day made a difference!

In the fourth month, just a week before my birthday, G-d was with me, and this month I remembered to begin my count on time. I was able to immerse in the mikvah right on schedule as well. Well, sure enough, my next period never came! With the help of G-d we were pregnant!

My first trip to the midwife revealed that my due date was Yom Kippur! Of course, ever, the worrywart, I began imagining one scenario after another for getting to the hospital on Yom Kippur! I finally relaxed and decided that some things are beyond our control. Trust in G-d, and be as prepared as I could be, and all would be well.

The next few months flew very quickly. It was soon Rosh Hashana once again. As I worked in the kitchen, preparing for a new round of guests for the holiday, I recalled the words of the kind mikvah attendant. Her words about a Rosh Hashana baby echoed in my head.  I awakened that night, the first night of Rosh Hashana, to strong contractions. We realized we better get to the hospital.

Our beautiful baby boy was born on the second night of Rosh Hashana. Every time that I look at him I think of the mikvah attendant’s prophetic words and I remember how important it is to do every mitzvah on time! Especially the holy and beautiful mitzvah of mikvah! I am blessed to have my Rosh Hashana baby!


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