by Lisa Berman, Mikveh and Education Director
It was a freezing, snowy day at Mayyim Hayyim, and we were struggling with frozen pipes in bathrooms and laundry rooms. We still had one working preparation room and one warm mikveh, so we were happy to be able to continue to welcome guests. That morning, a guest shared this story with me, and her words melted all the icicles in my world.
Months prior, Julie* was chatting with a woman who had come to Mayyim Hayyim for the conversion of her baby. As is true for many parents in this situation, she was filled with nervousness about the prospect of not only submerging her baby in the water, but having to let go for a moment, to allow the water to touch every part of her child. This mom told Julie how she walked down the seven steps into the mikveh, holding her baby tightly to her chest. Then, in the water, she started to relax into its warmth. She held her baby in front of her, and just as she was about to gently lower her under the water’s surface, a thought came to her. “When I let go of my baby for that second, she will no longer be held by me. In that moment, she will be held by God.”
Julie recounted to me that, weeks later, facing multiple challenging transitions in her life, she had a moment when she thought, “I need to feel held by God.” And so she came to Mayyim Hayyim, where, no matter how cold and unyielding our surroundings or our emotions may be when we arrive, we have the opportunity to be held and embraced — by the water, by hope, and by God.
*name changed for privacy
Lisa Berman is the Mikveh and Education Director at Mayyim Hayyim. She invites you to enjoy a respite from the winter freeze in the warm waters of our mikva’ot.