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Our visit to the Mikva

Friday, 24 March, 2017 - 12:44 pm

 After a long night in Prague, we started off the day on a more relaxing but meaningful note. Earlier in the week we made packaged Shabbat bags for those in need in the Jewish community. This morning we passed out the Shabbat bags. This was very rewarding because even though there was a language barrier between us and the natives, we still had the common connection of being Jewish and preparing for the Sabbath. Being able to give back to the community was a great way for Sarah to segway into a discussion about mikvahs and she also gave us a tour of the mikvah at the Berlin Chabad this morning.

Some women think a mikvah is a large pool you could swim in but actually the mikvah is much like a spa experience. Women are allowed to keep a small bag of their belongings like shampoo, flip flops, etc. or they can come to the mikvah and everything needed to cleanse themselves will be provided to them. Women must wait 7 days after they menstruate to enter the mikvah, in order to ensure that they are truly clean. Mikvahs can also be used as a method in marriages and has helped married couples become more intimate again.

A mikvah is a personal experience for the woman to purify herself. Before entering a mikvah a woman needs to be pure in a physically clean sense. In addition, a woman usually gives tzidakah (charity) before entering the mikvah in order to begin her journey to purity with something positive. Entering the mikvah is about the rebirth of their physical and spiritual self. Mikvahs are especially important to women in Judiasm because it is one of the three tasks that only women are allowed to do, among that being challah and lighting candles. Because these tasks are only for women, it allows us to connect more to G-D as Jews.

It was a delightful experience to tour the mikvah and in the future, when we are married, maybe we will get to experience this spiritual journey like so many women before us.

With love and many L'chaims,
Shelby Lafferty and Emily Magid

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