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Author:  Leah
E-mail:  not available
Date:  6/9/2005 9:59:00 PM
Subject:  Mikvah - Positive!
Message:  All;

I just thought it might be worth saying something positive about a Brooklyn Mikvah, since it’s been a while since I’ve heard anything...

I go to a small Mikvah in nowheresville-Bensonhurst, and my Mikvah lady is one who, like most, cares greatly about her job, and feels she has a responsibility of sorts to properly 'assist' women when they come to the Mikvah. She just seems to have a more ... Jewish (I don't know what else to call it!) perception of how she ought "assist."

I called the Mikvah lady to tell her that my Rabbi believed that the patch did not constitute a Chatzitza, and that I could dip with it on. Because of the latest chain of Mikvah-events I was quite nervous... This was only my second time going to the Mikvah, and I wasn't yet totally comfortable with the concept itself - let alone the thought of a Mikvah "problem."

The gist of what she said was "Oh, that's interesting. I don't know much about the patch - this is a first for me... If Rabbi Abadi says it's okay, then so it is."

We later got to talking, about the Mikvah halachos, and eventually, the fiasco's with some of the other Mikvos in Brooklyn. She had multiple stories about women who hadn't gone to Mikvos for years because of experiences like some of the ones I've read about here. In one instance years ago, she received a phone call from a husband, saying that his wife had been ‘traumatized’ by the Mikvah lady at some other Mikvah in Brooklyn, and had refused to go for six months. Quite reasonably, after six months, he wanted to be able to touch his wife.

After much coaxing, the woman showed up. After making her preparations, she rang the bell indicating that she was ready to be escorted to the Mikvah. When the Mikvah lady showed up, the woman said something to the effect of “Aren’t you going to brush my hair and cut my nails?” Understandably, my Mikvah lady was horrified.

I’m disturbed by the direction such an otherwise beautiful Mitzvah has been shoved in. So much of modern Judaism is being distorted by self-righteous individuals with limited Torah knowledge, or misguided interpretations. I see it every day, as we all do… I guess what I’m saying is that good people still exist, and the rest of us should be rightfully angry, but also not give up hope quite yet.

And on a less philosophical note… not all Brooklyn Mikvos are frightening. You just have to look really really hard before you’ll find the ones that aren’t...
Reply:  You are very right.

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