by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein, Mikveh Guide
At Mayyim Hayyim, we are grateful to Margaret for her bravery in speaking up about sexual assault. Read her story, learn about how she used mikveh as part of her healing process, and consider a donation so that Mayyim Hayyim can continue to be there for survivors.
The story of my sexual assault is not easy for me to tell – or for anyone to hear. But I’m asking you to listen and make a donation to support Mayyim Hayyim, the place that saved my life.
When I was young and studying in Israel, I was gang raped. At first I didn’t understand the full impact of what had happened to me. For many years, I didn’t think I could be loved. But somehow, I managed to go on with my life.
Years later, my rabbi suggested I contact Mayyim Hayyim to explore immersion as a way to help me heal. The staff, the Mikveh Guides, and Mayyim Hayyim’s Seven Kavanot (intentions) for Mikveh Preparation were sources of comfort and strength.
After I emerged from the water, I could stand up and say: “Hineini – I’m here. I survived.” I returned to immerse again and again throughout the healing process – for both joyous and sad events. Mayyim Hayyim helped re-create a feeling of wholeness. I could leave the pain behind and begin to feel joy.
Telling this story has been difficult. People didn’t always want to believe me. Telling the truth even put my job in jeopardy. But I have consistently spoken out on behalf of those who are not yet ready to speak. Mayyim Hayyim has enabled me to become a role model.
Thanks to the #MeToo movement, our culture – and our Jewish community – are waking up to the fact that sexual assault is all too common. We are blessed that Judaism and Mayyim Hayyim provides us with a beautiful, profound ritual—mikveh—that touches mind, body, and spirit.
Please consider making a generous donation today. Mayyim Hayyim was there for me when I needed it most. With your help, it will be here for other survivors in the years to come.
Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein, Mikveh Guide
PS – Your gift supports Mayyim Hayyim’s ongoing work to provide healing rituals to those who have experienced abuse and trauma.
Sexual assault resources:
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center – 800-841-8371
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network – 800-656-4673
Domestic abuse resources:
Journey to Safety (Boston area, Jewish) – 781-647-5327
National Domestic Abuse Hotline – 800-799-7233