Tuned into Mikveh: Reflections from Mayyim Hayyim’s Oldest Immersees

By Harry and Elaine Wayne

When we were planning our wedding 63 years ago, an Orthodox Jewish girlfriend gave us an engagement gift: a book explaining mikveh. The obvious purpose of the author was to encourage use of the mikveh ritual, including instructions on building one’s own in-home mikveh from a TV cabinet. Contrary to the author’s intention, we were completely tuned out and turned off.

Throughout the years, many of our Orthodox female friends have frequented a mikveh. We never heard any positive comments regarding the facility or the ritual.
In recent years, we read about Mayyim Hayyim being built in the Boston area. Our curiosity was aroused when we heard Anita Diamant speak in our area regarding her mikveh project.

During our recent visit to Boston, we had a free day. Our granddaughter made a reservation for us to visit Mayyim Hayyim. What a pleasant surprise! The facility was beautiful, inviting, and clean-a ten-star spa. The volunteer gentleman who was our guide was very friendly, knowledgeable, low-key, and enthusiastic. We were curious to try the dip. Were we surprised at our positive emotional reaction! Now we understand the purpose of going to the mikveh.

Upon our return home, we told all of our friends about our interesting and positive emotional experience.

Thank you, Mayyim Hayyim. Why weren’t you around 63 years ago?!

Harry Wayne will be celebrating his 92nd birthday this August.  Elaine Wayne is a mere 86 years old. They have been married for 63 years and currently reside in Skokie, IL. Both Harry  &  Elaine are actively involved in  Wayne  Engineering–a company they co-founded in 1974 to develop and market equipment for sensory/motor integration training. All products were developed by Harry, who holds numerous patents in many areas.  Family circumstances prevented Harry from becoming Bar Mitzvah at age 13.  It was something he always wanted. At age 81 he began studying, and he officially celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at age 83. While visiting their granddaughter and grand son-in-law in Boston, the Waynes visited Mayyim Hayyim for their first official immersion.  The Waynes have 4  married children, 11 grandchildren and 1 grand son-in-law. 


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