On my first day of my internship at Mayyim Hayyim it was pouring rain. As I was greeted by staff, I remarked that I hated the rain. Leah’s response effectively changed the way I think about rain.
Leah said that she, too, didn’t like the rain, but after working at a mikveh, her outlook changed as well. She said that rain was an important part of Mayyim Hayyim and all mikva’ot, actually. I learned that in order for a mikveh to be kosher it must have a certain amount of “mayyim hayyim” (living water). Living water can be found all around us—the ocean, a lake—but for a mikveh that has been constructed, there are very specific requirements for how it is built and for how the living water is let in. Long story short–the more rain, the better.
This reminded me of all the great benefits of living water in my everyday life. I play hockey for the University of Delaware and learned to skate on frozen ponds in our area. I love to spend time with my family during the summer at the beach and many of our favorite activities involve being in or near living water, like swimming or surfing in the ocean. Once you think about it, living water is necessary for almost everything we do. Water is of major importance for farms for growing produce and sustaining animals. The effects of drought would not only affect our mikveh, but also the prices of many products we eat. I knew I would learn a lot working at Mayyim Hayyim, but when thinking about my learning goals, mikveh constructions was not initially on that list. The positive attitude and commitment of the staff to the maintenance and experience of mikveh has got me thinking differently about the rain.
Samantha Testa is Mayyim Hayyim’s Development Intern working on the fall benefit event. She is a senior at the University of Delaware majoring in marketing.