First-Person Stories

Nothing, not the Herodian palaces nor the Roman bathhouses at Masada, the 1,300-foot-high mesa arising from the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea, the last refuge of the zealots fleeing the destruction of Jerusalem, moved me as much as the lonely ritual bath at Masada.
My First Visit to the Mikvah
Before I’d ever visited a mikvah, I had a lot of misconceptions about this key Jewish commandment. The whole idea seemed like a relic from another era.
5 Things I Learned About Being a Woman From Visiting the Mikvah
If you look through a G‑dly lens, you can see the absolute beauty and divine brilliance of the human menstrual cycle.
G-d's Great Charity Campaign
As she began her descent down the ladders, the ice-cold air hit her. It was dark and freezing before she even reached the water.
Mikvah on the Mountain: One Woman's Miracle
For several days Limor sits, silent and thoughtful, in the Chabad House. Once in a while she asks about this or that, but most of the time she sits, mute, observing the joyous youths around her with a bleak countenance. Her husband sits at her side, frowning and serious. We never hear him speak.
Mikvah Magic
I had been there before on the tour, but this was different. It was late at night, and I was about to partake in an ancient ritual considered one of the three most important mitzvahs for Jewish women.
Living Waters
Experiencing Mikvah
Again and again I lose awareness of myself and then regain it; a cycle of life, death, and birth is repeating over and over. It is just the water and I. Or is it? If I am losing myself in the water, is there just water? There is clarity in the simplicity of the oneness. There is only good...
My Mikvah Experience in Beijing
I would never have expected that I would meet a sister in Beijing, but that’s exactly what happened.
The Ladies Club
My First Mikvah Experience
"Mommy has to go to the ladies' club. She will only be there a little bit. We have to wait here because we are not ladies." Even at three, I shared his trait of quick-thinking and responded, "You are not a lady, but I am! You call me your 'little lady' all the time!" He smiled and laughed at both my wit and my innocence...
Letting the Waters Take You
My Journey to the Mikvah and Beyond
I reasoned that our ancestors fought long and hard (in fact, we – the descendents – are still fighting) to be able to perform this deep and spiritual ritual, so why shouldn't I at least give it a try?
My Mikvah Baby
A Spiritual Pregnancy
I find myself praying and talking to Him like never before, finding the great relief of putting all my fears in His hands. I want the birth of this baby to highlight my journey to know myself and G‑d's presence in me...
Transforming Waters
My tears mixed with the waters of the Mikvah, enveloping me in a warmth and love I had never experienced before. I knew I had come to the right place, at the right time, for myself, my family, and for G-d.
Confessions of a Mikvah-Goer
Truth be told, I wasn't convinced. I couldn't relate to abstinence, I didn't understand the association of menstruation and impurity. I approached the experience like an anthropologist...
The Power of Once
Post-Menopausal Mikvah
I did not have a monthly cycle, would never experience what I had been hearing about – the excitement, anticipation and spiritual renewal that other women had the opportunity to have. What, I asked myself, was the point?
Is It Me or Is It Hot in Here?
Understanding menopause
I keep promising to try to focus on some of the benefits of this particularly feminine growth experience of menopause. And I’m not succeeding. So, I do what I always do when I go through a lifecycle moment...
Dipping in Aruba
My parents had treated us to this dream vacation in Aruba. We had everything – but a mikvah. My husband was incredulous – no, astonished – when I told him that I would turn the Caribbean into a mikvah...
Mikvah Time
The year is the same, the days are the same, but the months are different. It is a time quite individual—created by G‑d especially for me . . .
Returning to What We Ran From
My Spiritual Voyage to Mikvah
I stood in my fluffy terry robe and toss-away slippers, waiting. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "What's a nice Reform girl doing in a place like this?"
Three Generations Share the Mitzvah of Mikvah
As the week before my wedding approached and three generations of women prepared to use the mikvah, I called a local mikvah to reserve three separate rooms. “Yes, three,” I repeated into the phone.
A Visit to the 92-Year-Old ‘Mikvah Lady’ Upon Her Retirement
It felt strange to be ringing Mrs. Markovic's doorbell in broad daylight…
The Secret Under the Carpet: Spirit of Mikvah Flows Throughout the World
Connection between Jerusalem and Arkansas highlights a foundation of Jewish life
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