028: Flashback Friday: Mikvah orientation, feeling underwater, and halfway mark

Post from 2019, way back yonder before we nearly had WW3 with Iran and a President was impeached but nothing happened

Community Mikveh at American Jewish University

Highlights!

  • Toured the mikvah where I convert in March, the day after my 40th
  • Lots of feels about it
  • Finished my required Intro to Judaism class in January
  • Started Intro 2.0 class!

We toured the Mikvah at the beginning of class in November at AJU. I didn’t know when I signed up that the mikvah (mikveh?) was at the same location, only that there is one involved.

At the time it was roughly halfway through my studies (last June to early November), knowing I’d set a rough date for my conversion: My big birthday end of March. That’s about 9 months of lowercase “t” torah as wall as big “T” Torah and Tanakh.

I remember an eager nervousness—both calm and anxiety—walking in to see the mikvah room. We learned all kinds of things like how it’s maintained, its history, about the 10,000 people who’ve become Jewish in that room, and the rabbinical prescription or kosherness of how the water flows into the tub itself.

It’s basically a hot tub. But not! It’s heated to body temperature and you must get completely clean, and naked, to enter. It’s not a baptism, but it’s where that came from, and entering it is not something done to you. You’re not mikvah-ed like you’re baptized. You go in alone, under 3 times ensuring water completely surrounds you (hair and feet), and cite a blessing each time.

I’ve been in love with this idea since I first learned of it and the idea of a rebirth. I’m doing it the day after I turn 40, an important number in Judaism and in Torah; and also after 9 months of studying and exploring and connecting.

Other news: I finished my classes and felt a weird pull to figure out what was next. That’s a common thing in my life right now and it does feel a bit like being underwater, or treading water, or some other water metaphor about flow or support or darkness, I don’t know. Maybe I’m adrift in the Pacific and plastic is hitting me in the face? But I keep thinking it’s going to be a life raft, or treasure?

Anyway, last class was in January and it was a make-up for me. More on that one on its own, it was tremendous and also very appropriate that it was different people, different rabbi, and a different setting, because the next chapter is just starting for me. The following week I started Intro 2.0, the new class at AJU that meets 10 times through June to study and debate Jewish texts, as one does. More on that, too, it’s a gem!

I haven’t been writing as much as last year; my last true post was during Hanukkah. I’m working to fix that! I’m also trying to post weekly on the new Instagram, so give that a like or a click:


Article at My Jewish Learning