by Leah Robbins, Administrative and Marketing Assistant
A few months ago, I attended a women’s Rosh Chodesh (new moon) gathering at the Moishe Kavod House. After discussing the themes of the month and checking in with one another about our many life transitions, we were asked to take a siddur (prayer book) and borrow lines and phrases from various tehillim (psalms) in order to create a new poem of our own. As the facilitator explained the activity, I remember thinking to myself, “This is way too granola for me. Quick! Grab a snack and bolt…” A friend encouraged me to stay, and I owe her for her nudging. I settled into my discomfort, begrudgingly propped open my siddur, and, suddenly, the sacred imagery flung off the pages and molded itself into my own hand-crafted, hodge-podge of holy writing, now adorning the wall of my home.
Weeks later, at a Mayyim Hayyim staff meeting, I decided to bring a revised version of this activity to the ladies upstairs. I hauled our growing pile of guest books, weighted down with years of memories dating back to 2004, and prompted the group to explore their delicate pages for new insights. Together we borrowed from years of transformative healing, metamorphic life transitions, and precious words of gratitude, and strung together new poetry of our own.
A poem by Leah Robbins:
(Words and phrases compiled from guest book entries from 2004 and 2006)
I am so full
So full of desired blessing
I am empty of words
I welcome the transformative – the introspective
The kindness you’ve shown
The warmth, the sacred, the renewal
Your gift to me
Gentle care, gracious hospitality, the delicate caress of the water
The highest of high this physical rebirth
My new beginning
Your prayer was already there for me – waiting
Refreshing – this moment in time
No longer fragmented
You let me take my first Jewish breaths
Today I am a Jew
I invite you to bring your joys and sorrows to this enchanted space and cement your memories in our guest book – our living, breathing testament to the magic of mikveh. Schedule your visit to Mayyim Hayyim here.