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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The Monthly Mitzvah

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by Anonymous As a Jewish woman living a traditional halachic life (governed by Jewish law), I am often faced with questions from myself and others regarding my religious choices. One question that will likely always come up is that of the place of women in halachic Judaism. In modern-day Orthodoxy, the synagogue has become the focus […]

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Jewish Survival: It Takes Chutzpah

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by Leah Robbins, Administrative and Marketing Assistant International Women’s Day is on the horizon (March 8), and this year, like every year, I am reminded of the enormity of the weight of the world carried on the backs of women. I am reminded that women are made responsible for creating history and carrying history. I realize […]

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Reinventing Ritual

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by Rachel Karish, Bronfman Youth Fellow, translated from Hebrew by Daphna Ezrachi, Bronfman Educator The 21st-century world that we live in is one of constant progress and change. The industrial revolution, which began a few centuries ago following the Enlightenment, led to a technological race. In that race, human knowledge continues to grow endlessly, and we […]

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An Immersive Stroll

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by Kelly Banker My monthly immersions have been interrupted, and their absence is showing up everywhere I turn. Each immersion felt like a suspension of time; a breath of new life into each month. This summer, though, I was living in western Massachusetts and only recently returned, and have not had the time to immerse […]

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My Trek to the Mikveh

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by Janine Herrera To understand why my immersion at Mayyim Hayyim was so transformative, one would first need to understand the journey I’ve been on. I made the decision to convert because the synagogue and community I belong to was inclusive, open, and committed to accepting everyone. They unabashedly embraced me as part of their community. […]

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A Shabbat for my Marriage

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Today, we offer you a gem from the archives: one woman’s experience of monthly immersion. This post was originally published on May 6th 2013.  The author of this post prefers to remain anonymous. I never imagined that I would observe regular mikveh practice.  I didn’t grow up Orthodox, nor do I identify as such now.  I didn’t have […]

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On Letting Go and Spiritual Revolution

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by Kelly Banker, Intern The poet Mary Oliver says: “To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal, to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” Although Mary Oliver […]

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Our Bodies, Our Mikveh

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by DeDe Jacobs-Komisar, Development Manager This week marks my first Mayyim Hayyim “work-iversary.” When I started as Development Manager in July of 2014, the very first thing I did was observe an educational program with high school students from Genesis, a Brandeis University Jewish studies summer program for teens from all over the world. It […]

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Facebook Responsa

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by Leeza Negelev, Associate Director of Education Religious pluralism is a fairly new idea. Even in the most well-intentioned pluralistic spaces we are still learning how to honor seemingly contradictory religious needs. Part of cultivating that respect means having an honest conversation that welcomes differing points of view. That is just the first step. For example, […]

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The Mikveh at Night

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Gail Elson, Mikveh Guide It’s often night time when I enter to guide at the mikveh. I turn on the lights, lower the shades, and enjoy the stillness for a brief time until the first woman arrives. Sometimes there’s only one; other evenings there are four to six immersions. Most of the women I meet […]

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Why I Don’t Go to the Mikveh Anymore

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by The Viking Jewess My several years-long experience observing the Jewish tradition of a married woman’s monthly immersion in the mikveh, ended abruptly and awkwardly.  It didn’t end because I had reached menopause, which would have been the natural conclusion of the ritual, but because of something more complicated: I found myself in the middle […]

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