by Michelle Citrin
Below is taken from a mail exchange between Anita Diamant and Michelle Citrin, who performed at our fall event, Roasting and Toasting Anita Diamant
So…it’s 3:54am and I’m semi wide asleep/wake and just reflecting on a very special day that I wanted to share with you. It started at 8:45am, when I opened my eyes to becoming a new age – 33 (though I won’t interrupt people who think I’m 21) I hopped aboard the 2/3 to get to the upper west side with my partner, Molly. Molly is a rabbi and she was escorting me to the mikveh and acted as a witness for me. I hadn’t ever experienced the world of immersion, and I wanted very much to start off this new year to mark a time of transformation I’ve experienced in the past year.
At first, I was feeling very out of place and vulnerable under a fluorescent light as I ‘pre-gamed’ cleansed before the big dip, but once I got to the waters . . . . the living waters. It all changed. Suddenly, it all became very real, I knew that whatever intention I put forth going into those waters, there was no turning back.
With each step, I increasingly felt wonder and amazement of how and why did this water feel so great? By the time I was ready to dunk, I exclaimed, “Omg, this water is holy! there’s G-d particles in here!!” And then suddenly, I just realized why this tradition has been around for thousands of years and not just because a text book told me so, but because I could feel the magic of the living waters. What a truly remarkable ritual, I feel so blessed to be able to have done today. Those G-d particles are still radiating and I hope they never fade.
While realities of NYC living may eventually start to fight those G-d particles for real estate in my psyche/body, the thing that I am confident won’t go away, is this vivid image of stepping into the waters. I’ve found that even in the past few hours, when confronted with the prospect of either going ‘backwards’ in life or ‘forward’, I realize that I instantly recall the image of walking into the waters. That vision works so effectively as a reminder of the intentions and promises and transformation I experienced, that I was reminded instantly, that there’s no way I can go backwards . . . . because of the steps I took forward.
I share this with you because somehow my guess is this story is not foreign to you. I knew I loved all of you ladies and what your organization did, and I just wanted to share that now I REALLY get it. And I’ve spent all day spreading gospel of the magic of the mikveh, trying to convince everyone to experience for themselves. They look at me like I’m crazy and that it is such a foreign concept for them because the reputation around here is that it’s ‘for Orthodox women, not me’. All the more, I am so thrilled that you all have offered such dedication and hard work to make it possible for everyone to have access to this incredible ritual. So. So. Good.
Wishing you only the best!!!
I owe you a song.
Michelle is best known as the creator and star of viral video hits including “20 Things to do with Matzah,” “Call Your Zeyde”, “Rosh Hashanah Girl” and “Hanukah Lovin.” In total, these videos have received millions of hits from around the world. Fully independent from any record label, Michelle has sold thousands of copies of her records. Her engaging live performances and talent for writing catchy and meaningful songs have garnered rave reviews and numerous accolades; including being named one of Billboard Music’s “Top Songwriters”, VH-1’s Song of the Year finalist, Great American Songwriting Honor, and finalist in Sony Music’s Future Rock Competition. She has shared the stage with Grammy Award winning artists Michelle Branch and Dave Koz, Gold selling artist Matisyahu, and Tracy Bonham. Her honest lyrics, catchy melodies mixed with lush arrangements are best represented in her upcoming album, “Left Brained Right Hearted” – a collection of songs written, composed and arranged by Michelle that explore the eternal struggle of heart versus head, through insightful songwriting, surprising harmonies and unique orchestrations featuring an eclectic array of instruments.