Unpacking Niddah

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by Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish Niddah is the practice of abstaining from sexual intimacy around the time of menstruation. When contemplating the rabbinic laws surrounding menstruation, it can be easy to wonder: Why is there a whole area of Jewish law devoted to the intricacies of determining the beginning and end of women’s menstrual cycles? At times, […]

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Lessons from Beyond the Huppah: An In-Depth Review

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Originally posted on January 18, 2017 by Cantor Sarah Bolts and Michael Chernicoff Sarah: I honestly didn’t know what to expect from a pre-marriage class. I grew up in the Orthodox community, where pre-marriage classes came in the form of “kallah (bride) classes” in which a bride would learn about the laws of niddah (regular separation […]

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Journey to the Mikveh

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by Ev Bastow In August of this year, I had the unique experience of visiting Mayyim Hayyim. I cannot talk about that encounter without telling about the life events that led up to that memorable day. I was born and raised in New York City and grew up in a mostly unobservant home. Except for […]

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Mikveh Guides: The Face of Mayyim Hayyim

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by Lisa Berman, Mikveh and Education Director Mikveh Guides: The Face of Mayyim Hayyim These women and these men have much to teach, But their pleasure is to learn and serve, Stepping forward or stepping back, Attending to the need, joyful or tearful, Face to face. –Anita Diamant More than 13 years ago, a few […]

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Angst at the Mikveh

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by Leeza Negelev, Associate Director of Education Just as Abraham ran to greet the three angels in Bereishit (Genesis) 18:2, the volunteer Mikveh Guides at Mayyim Hayyim are always prepared to greet our guests with enthusiasm. They are the ones in the back room quietly folding laundry while, in the preparation room next door, someone is cautiously removing […]

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Listen to the Knocking in Your Own Heart

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by Rachel Tali Kaplan An invitation and an ode: a rabbinical student’s thoughts on and encouragement to join Mayyim Hayyim for Knocking at Our Hearts, a High Holiday musical workshop with Joey Weisenberg, on September 10 at 3:30PM. water and music are healing to immerse and be immersed surrounded enveloped both mediums allow me to […]

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Pressing Pause on Bat Mitzvah Madness

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by Kim Creem This past May was my daughter Lily’s Bat Mitzvah at Temple Emanuel in Newton, where we have been members for over 15 years. She had been at Temple Emanuel for both preschool and Hebrew school and was completing her last year at Makor at Hebrew College in the spring. Over the years, […]

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Clear Water, Clear Thinking

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Reposted with permission from Fresh Ideas from HBI: The Hadassah Brandeis Institute Blog by Elana Luban When I first heard about the annual Gilda Slifka summer intern’s trip to Mayyim Hayyim, I wasn’t quite sure what could be groundbreaking or ideologically feminist about a mikveh. My first two mikveh trips shaped my life and my […]

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Beneath the Surface Magic

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by Leeza Negelev, Associate Director of Education I first joined Mayyim Hayyim’s program for Bat Mitzvah girls and their mothers, Beneath the Surface, as an educator for the 11th cohort in 2014. I had heard a lot about the impact of the program: how beloved it is by the moms and daughters who participate, as […]

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Returning to Mikveh

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by Phyllis Hirth Here’s my timeline, short and sweet: I was born in Connecticut, raised as a Catholic, moved to New York after college, met my husband, and married into a Conservative Jewish family. My first experience with mikveh was during my own conversion to Judaism. My memory of that is less than pleasant. A woman […]

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