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Mayyim Hayyim Mikveh Visit

Sunday, January 21, 2018 • 5 Shevat 5778

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM



Many of us grew up attending afternoon/weekend Hebrew Schools with classes sandwiched into the corners of our busy childhood and teenage schedules. Our synagogues and teachers did their best to give us a Jewish education in the limited time available, but most of us learned nothing about mikveh. We sort of knew that mikvaot existed but thought of them as dingy relics, and the females among us hoped that their grandmothers wouldn’t force their parents to send them to one for a prenuptial visit.

It’s not necessarily like that anymore. We in the Greater Boston area have access to Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh, located in Newton. Founded in 2004, it has been at the vanguard of a movement to reinvent mikvaot as meaningful contemporary institutions, and has been recognized internationally as a model for how this can be done. Their website’s home page quotes Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook: “The old becomes new, and the new becomes holy.”

There are about 1500 immersions per year at Mayyim Hayyim—around 75% of them by women, which means (duh) that about a quarter of them involve men. People immerse for many reasons. The most common (but by no means the only) one for men is that it is halachically required for conversion. And in contemporary American Jewish life, with over 60% of ourselves, and a larger percentage of our children and grandchildren involved in non-Jewish relationships, it’s worth learning about how this works. Mayyim Hayyim provides numerous educational programs throughout the week. Almost every Sunday, synagogue and religious school groups visit to learn about mikveh. Temple Beth Abraham is a Mayyim Hayyim member, and as such, we have scheduled an informational trip, just for Sisterhood and Men’s Club members and friends, to take place on Sunday morning, January 21, 2018 from 10-11:30 AM. If you’d like a forshpeis, check out this video:

I began training as a volunteer Mayyim Hayyim mikveh guide in 2011, shortly before I retired, and guiding has become a significant part of my post-retirement community activities. Please consider joining the group on January 21—you’ll find it interesting and informative. And, like most Jewish events, it will be followed by eating (lunch at one of the fine Newton-area dining establishments).

Alan Green

Please RSVP to Becky Green (Sisterhood president) at or to David Fox (Southern NH Jewish Men's Club president) at

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Thu, October 18 2018 9 Cheshvan 5779