From time to time, Mayyim Hayyim staff read through our guest book. It’s quite fulfilling to read about people’s immersion experience(s) in their words. Sometimes people come to mark the ending of an illness or medical treatment or relationship, but their words often sound hopeful for a new beginning. Here are a few entries…
- This marks the 7th anniversary of being cancer free. The mikvah is a way of continuing the healing and also a way to be grateful – and as always cheers to the women of the “6th day group” for the book on Jewish women with cancer. All blessings!
- This was an outstanding experience. I was looking for a way to put illness behind me and move into an era of a post-cancer me. Though I’m not sure whether I’ve completely made the transition, this has certainly provided a strong start—a milepost (albeit perhaps an early one) on the journey.
- A year ago today I had my last chemo treatment for breast cancer. I was finished with that part of my journey. It was not what I would call a pleasant part of my journey but it was full of blessings. At that moment I was too tired to celebrate. I have spent the past year transitioning from illness to health, from removed from the world to immersed within it, from hair free to a mop of unexpected curls. Throughout the entire experience, give or take a few short low moments, I was aware of the deep gratitude in my heart for the way I was able to travel on my path. With friends, with love, with spiritual devotion, with awe, with support, with luck and with God, I marked the anniversary of my diagnosis with my 2nd trip to a mikvah and my first to this one. It was a very emotional experience. So many tears that I had held inside released and became one with the living waters. It seemed right to visit here again today as I walk further along my path, away from the intense experience of cancer and toward a hopefully long and meaningful life. I immersed today in the living water with immense gratitude for my life and for this place and for this ritual. Love be with you.
- This was my first experience immersing in a mikveh, and it will take me a while to fully reflect and feel what beauty and meaning I have finally given to myself. I am a 41 year old unmarried woman who did not feel “allowed” to use a mikveh until before marriage. Several nights ago, I put into action a deep longing and wish – very 21st century using the internet to make an appointment – a wish as old as the Jewish people. To cleanse myself and prepare myself for God, to heal emotional wounds, to stand as a woman and as a Jew – even if unmarried – and to bless myself and klal yisrael though the wonder that is the experience of mikveh.
- It is hard to say where mourning ends and healing begins,
It is hard to say where her love starts and mine picks up,
It is hard to say where my prayer comes from or where it goes.
In the wonder of these moments,
Under which grief still lies quietly,
The warm water takes hold.
I let go and hope it all lets go of me.
- I walked in feeling calm. Like a soldier ready for war. Immersed, all I could feel was my voice. Around me, encompassing me. I struggled to unite myself, to be utterly sincere. I kept asking God for it, until, underwater in a fetal position, I realized I need not ask anyone. All I needed to do was let go; let go of all worries. Then, as I stepped out breathing deeply, I looked to the ceiling and the water dripping on the floor and suddenly I smiled. I let go.