by Michael Franck
That is what mikveh has given me. I have been reflecting on this lately because of Mayyim Hayyim’s upcoming spring benefit event, Men, Mikveh, and Malt, which I am helping to plan. Thinking about the event, and about what Mayyim Hayyim means, has made me consider anew what mikveh has meant to me.
A mikveh brought me into my Jewish life. I did not grow up Jewish; I began my Jewish life after emerging from the mikveh in Congregation Adas Israel in August 2006. A mikveh gave me every peaceful Shabbat candle-lighting since that day; it gave me every joyous Simchat Torah, every happy blessing, every meaningful Yom Kippur reflection. In short, it gave me Judaism.
I immersed at Mayyim Hayyim in September 2007 before my wedding, and after emerging from the mikveh I made another transition – into married life. That occasion is now intertwined in my mind with the birth of our daughter Mira in July 2009, and our son Ezra in August 2012. I see how our daughter already takes great joy in Judaism – I see her jumping with joy when we arrive at temple, and hear her decrying cruel Pharaoh. The mikveh gave me my children’s newly emerging Jewish lives.
This is what I ponder when I consider what a mikveh can be, and what it can mean. One of the goals particular to our spring benefit event is to communicate that the mikveh is for everyone, for men as well as for women. And indeed, men and women come to Mayyim Hayyim, and they come for any reason and for every reason.
As for me – as a man, as a person, as an anything – the mivkeh has given me everything.
Editor’s Note: Men, Mikveh and Malt, a Mayyim Hayyim Benefit Event is on Thursday, April 25, 7:00 pm at the Waterworks Museum. For more information, and to register for the event, click here.
Michael Paul Franck is a volunteer on the Host Committee for Mayyim Hayyim’s Spring Benefit. Michael lives in Jamaica Plain with his family, and is a member of Kehillath Israel. Michael is an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General.