by Molly Bajgot
I knew I wanted to go to the mikveh for the first time when I made the decision to move out of Boston to Arizona. It was an amorphous transition with not much time to acknowledge it; I knew I needed a physical marker to help ground this enormous change, but I wasn’t expecting the mikveh to be so powerful.
Once I made the appointment (pretty last minute, I’ll admit) I was immediately hit with the enormity of what I was about to do. I was about to make a huge change; I was committing to the next concrete step in my life. And once I went to the mikveh, that would be ritually sealed.
When I arrived, Mikveh and Education Director, Lisa Berman really saw my shakiness. She showed me around and ushered me into the private prep room to get ready. Up until this point, everything had been a rush, a blur. I was crying a lot, grieving the change and the amount of frustration that had gone into planning it and committing to it. I was getting it all out, as I was blessed with an opportunity that pushed me to do so. Referring to my tears, Lisa comforted me saying,“We accept all forms of water here.”
In the mikveh itself, Lisa told me that I should stay in the water until the spiritual work I needed to complete was done, and that I’d know when it was time. I chose to have someone witness my immersion, and then give me space alone to reflect. I was surprised about the conversation I had with myself. Amidst the chaos, this was one moment that brought me peace, telling me that the choice I was making was an obvious one, and to have confidence, to never look back. I don’t think I would have ever made it to Arizona confidently, or left with such zest, without the experience of immersion at Mayyim Hayyim. This experience has truly inspired me to look for more opportunities to carve out time and space to mark transitions in my life in a ritually meaningful way.
Molly is a former Boston and Moishe Kavod House resident who grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts. She just left for Nogales, Arizona where she’s home-basing and traveling to explore the West coast, exploring Jewish community along the way. She’s a singer and organizer and excited about her first visit and many more to Mayyim Hayyim.