My (Not So Great) First (and Probably Last) Experience at a Mikvah!
A mikvah is a pool of water in which observant married Jewish women are required to dip in once a month, seven days after the end of their menstrual cycle. Now, while it is true that I am not married (at least not in the conventional sense), nor 100% observant, (perhaps not even entirely Jewish?)... I still decided to attend a mikvah for the very first time ever, this past Thursday, in order to observe the mitzvah (mikvah commandment) of cleansing myself after menstruating. In retrospect, I feel that perhaps I may have rushed into the situation a bit too quickly. Perhaps I should've consulted with a Rabbi first? Although I am currently not a member of any synagogue so I do not have a Rabbi at my disposal! Also, as a (Splenic) Projector in the system of Human Design, I am supposed to wait for a formal invitation to do anything... otherwise I may get ignored or condemned. I did not receive a formal invitation to attend a mikvah so that could've been the issue all along! However I am saying all of this to say that... sadly this first mikvah experience reminded me of why Judaism never really resonated with me in the first place! Indeed, I am torn between my love of God/ Hashem (and the whole spirit world in general...and the wonderfully powerful Hebrew language) and my not so loving feelings toward my so-called Jewish brothers and sisters! And I know I am not the only one who feels this way! But allow me to start from the very beginning!
It all started when I was just a child when my mother told me that if anyone asks, tell them that your mother is Jewish! In reality, we really don't know if this is true! All I know is that my father is 100% Jewish and my mother's father is 100% Jewish... The only one in question is my mother, my mother's mother (my grand mother) and her mother (my great grandmother)! Unfortunately, the mother is all that anyone cares about... but that's a whole other story! I never felt truly accepted, nor did I ever fit in entirely with my Jewish people accept when I was a child and I attended my jewish nursery school, jewish after school program and jewish summer camps! Those were great! However, attending synagogue... not so great! And the older I got the more I really didn't want to be associated with the Jewish faith. I never quite understood why I had to tell other Jews that my mother was jewish otherwise they wouldn't accept me! This didn't feel like a group of people that I wanted to have anything to do with. They just didn't seem like very nice people at all! Instead, many appeared arrogant with a "we're better than everyone else because we are the chosen people" energy. I also felt a lot of judgement! Not my cup of tea!
Now don't get me wrong, I have met plenty of wonderful Jews. I had Jewish friends when I was younger. Afterall, I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood! And...My father and I visited his friend (and his wife) one time at an orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, NY. They were very nice, friendly, hospitable people! We even attended a service with them. It was a great experience actually. I did not feel any judgement. However, not all of my experiences have been so wonderful. Perhaps situations where I wasn't formally invited were the worst experiences for me... which would make sense since I am a Projector (in the system of Human Design). I suppose that the true reality is that every nationality, race and religion is composed of a certain number of nasty, arrogant, judgmental and not so pleasant people. Perhaps this is just the human condition? It's just hard for me as an empath because I can feel everything. I can feel people's thoughts, emotions and intentions. I can feel there judgements, there criticisms and it's like poison to me. The energy makes me feel terrible! I finally came to realize that being surrounded by any group of people was just too difficult for me to digest. Even if there were nice people in the crowd, I just couldn't be around too many people. I just picked up too much energy and it would throw me off. So I drifted away from Judaism and all religion for that matter! I became a reiki master energy healer and I became more deeply involved in spirituality, meditation, mysticism, esotericism and natural healing... I became more of a loner! However, more recently, somehow, all of these roads just seemed to lead me right back to Judaism! Ha! How did that happen?
So let me get to the point here... The mikvah! So recently, while reading an amazingly powerful and inspiring book called "Walking in the Fire: Classical Torah/ Kabbalistic Meditations, Practices and prayers" by Ariel Bar Tzadok, I decided that I must try observing the mikvah commandment. In his book, Ariel Bar Tzadok states that in order to reach the higher levels of consciousness and connect with God, one must observe all of the orthodox Jewish observances including attending a mikvah. Now, while I am definitely not following all of the orthodox Jewish observances right now since I do not even know what they are, I figured I'd at least try the mikvah and see where that leads? You gotta start somewhere right? Well, I already started observing shabbat, I decided to keep kosher, I taught myself to read Hebrew, (I'm still learning to understand most of the words though) I've been reciting several Hebrew prayers a day including psalms from the Book of Tehilim and I've been printing out the Torah portion and commentary to read every shabbat for the past few weeks now. I think Hashem sees that I'm trying right? So with much enthusiasm to perform yet another mitzvah I looked online for a mikvah to go to. I found one with great reviews on yelp but it still took me another month to get the courage to make the phone call.
So finally... 12 days into my menstrual cycle (I started bleeding on Day 1) I reached for my cell phone and nervously called the mikvah hoping to schedule for Day 14 (in two days... a Thursday). I received a voice message with mikvah hours and another number to call. I noticed that the hours were in the evening 7:15-10:15pm. Interesting! But that was a relief because I'm not a morning person at all. As I called the second number I was very nervous. I even felt a bit of anxiety. And when a woman answered I felt even worse! I wanted to make sure I answered all of her questions correctly, and I was right to expect many many questions. I told her that it was my first time attending a mikvah. So she immediately asked me if I was married. I paused and stuttered. I didn't know what to say. I'm not married. I finally started to speak and said that I had been with the same man... She interrupted me and asked "Do you live with this man?" And I answered "Yes". She said that is okay and we moved on to the next round of questions. Is the man I'm with Jewish? What synagogue is he a member of? I told her that he just converted and neither one of us are members of a synagogue yet. I gave her the name of the class he took to convert. She then asked who referred me to the mikvah. I told her that I was reading a book whereby the Rabbi stated that I should attend a mikvah. So she asks me what the name of the book is? I told her "Walking in the Fire: Classical Torah/ Kabbalistic Meditations, Practices and prayers" by Ariel Bar Tzadok. And then I said that Ariel Bar Tzadok is the Rabbi at KosherTorah.com. So this lady sternly exclaims "All Torah is Kosher." I had nothing to say to that. Then she said that it's not all about Kabbalah. There's much more to learn than Kabbalah. I let her know that I understood this!
Then she asks, "Is your mother Jewish?" I simply stated "Yes" just as my mother has prepped me to say since I was a little girl. That was quick and easy! Then she asked me about my menstrual cycle and I told her that it was day 12 and the day I wanted to come in would be Day 14. Perfect! I passed the test. She asked me if 7:30pm on Thursday worked for me and I said "Yes." I was in! Ha ha! Then she told me that she had some reading materials to share with me. I was super excited and said "Yes, I am open to any and all reading materials." She was happy to hear that. She told me to take a bath before coming in on Thursday and to scrub real well. I asked if a shower was okay. She said "Yes" but I had to make sure I scrubbed myself very well. Okay! I agreed to everything and got off the phone. I was relieved. I could breath again! However, I had nervous anxiety for a few hours after speaking with her. That was already a bad omen! I could feel her judgmental energy through the phone and it was a bit hard for me to take. But I decided to deal with it and keep my appointment! In reality, I was just so happy that I answered all of the questions correctly.
So Thursday arrives and I spend the whole day cleaning my apartment (and myself) in preparation. I did my clothing laundry, bedding laundry, washed my hair, scrubbed my body and I headed out to the mikvah around 7pm. 25/ 30 minutes later I arrived in a Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles and parked my car behind the building in the guest parking area. There was a nice female security guard waiting for me. I walked into a small room that had a sink with liquid soap and individual hand towels to use... so I immediately washed my hands before ringing the bell to enter the next room. I couldn't find the buzzer to ring, but at that moment the lady who I had spoken to on the phone opened the door. She was an older jewish lady with a hebrew/ Israeli accent and she was wearing what appeared to be a short brown wig. She was very nice and hospitable.... yet stern and uncomfortably rigid. Friendly in a professional way, but energetically not so friendly! I was nervous!
The place was beautiful... immaculate! The lady walked me into a waiting room and told me to place the $36 fee on a table and sit down in one of the chairs. I put down $40. The lady left me alone for a few moments to attend to other guests. While I was waiting a young girl entered the room and sat down next to me. She was wearing a wig. It was obvious. So I began to wonder if it was okay that my hair was showing? Well, it was half showing. I was wearing a scarf around my head and my hair (which was tied in a braid) was sticking out in the back. So finally the lady returns and she leads me to my own private bathroom. It was beautiful! Immaculate! It had a huge bathtub and a shower in it. The lady handed me a comb and a little package of toiletries and explained to me that I should comb my hair, brush my teeth, undress, put on paper slippers and a robe and when I'm ready to push "0" on the phone and she would come to get me. I told her that I already brushed my teeth at home but I had just washed my hair and I haven't even combed it yet. She said "Perfect! and left me to my preparations. I was so nervous I had to pee twice! I undressed, combed my hair, put on the robe and paper slippers and dialed "0".
So the lady opens another door to my private bathroom... the door that leads to the mikvah, and she invites to walk into the room. I walk in with my robe on and my extremely long hair that hasn't been cut in centuries. I immediately ask her if it's okay that I have hair. The lady looks shocked... she gazes at me with surprise and there's a long uncomfortable silence. Maybe she was judging my hair in her mind and I caught her off guard? Or perhaps she didn't understand my question? As I recall I broke the silence by apologizing and stating that I live in a bubble and haven't been around many people or synagogue in a long time. I was embarrassed. My question was either really stupid, offensive or just strange? But after seeing the lady with the wig on I wondered if my long hair was appropriate. I just didn't want to be disrespectful... But apparently my question was somehow taken as disrespectful or weird. I wanted to say something to fix the tension but I couldn't think of anything. I was being judged. I started to wonder if there were negative entities in the room with us. Could there be negative entities at a mikvah? A place where we cleanse ourselves (from negative entities)? I felt unpleasant energy for sure and knew something wasn't kosher! I felt particularly vulnerable because I wasn't wearing any of my protection medallions. I was naked... literally and energetically! I felt as if I was being faced with severe judgement and there was no way to protect myself from it. The lady finally spoke and said something like "Ofcourse you can have hair. Everybody is different." And that was the end of the that. But it got worse!
I'm not sure how it happened but all of a sudden this lady started giving me a heartfelt speech about how when your mother is Jewish, it is always in you, you always come back to it. She was pointing at her heart. She just kept going on and on... It was like the longest speech ever. Perhaps she meant well... or perhaps she was waiting for me to admit that my mother wasn't Jewish... Regardless... I wanted to cry. My eyes were watery. I wanted to know... Am I really Jewish? Is my mother really Jewish? I felt terrible. I felt like a liar. I felt like the only reason this lady even allowed me to make an appointment was because I told her that my mother was Jewish. I wanted to say something to make things better. I wanted to say something inspiring and positive... but words just wouldn't come out of my mouth. I just wanted to cry. So after listening to this long heartfelt speech that made me feel like a total loser, the lady points to a prayer on the wall. One prayer is in English and one is in Hebrew. It was a mikvah prayer before immersing in the water. But since I told her that I read Hebrew extremely slow she wouldn't even allow me to read the prayer. She told me I could read it after I get out of the mikvah. Apparently there were other women waiting to enter the mikvah water and she didn't want to hold up the line.
So next she tells me that I am going to dip in the water three times and each time I dip she is going to say "Pure." She explained to me that she usually says "Kosher" but since she was not so sure about me she would just say "Pure" instead. I wanted to ask her what I had to do for her to say "Kosher" instead of "Pure" but once again I remained silent because the whole energy just made me feel bad. And I also felt like the lady was in a rush to get to her other customers so asking questions would just make the situation worse! I felt bad though. I felt like a black sheep. I felt like a reject. I felt like an outcast that just happened to say a magic password to get through the door... "My mother is Jewish!" I didn't really fit in at this place... Ofcourse I never cared to fit in with anyone anyway, especially not a religious group, but the whole energy on the words this lady spoke to me made me feel like I wasn't good enough. I wasn't Jewish enough. I even felt as if she was questioning my Jewish status. Was my mother really Jewish? I didn't say anything. I just removed my robe and walked into the water.
As I stepped down some stairs into the water I remarked on how nice and warm the water was. So I stood in the water in front of this lady, she was higher up above me, and she gave me instructions. I was to raise my arms in front of me with my palms facing out towards her and dip 3 times as low as I could go. So I slowly did this and each time as I emerged from the water I heard her say "Pure." I think she was also saying something like "Very good." Finally after three dips she told me to hold my arms next to my body with my palms facing down toward the water and dip one more time. I did as I was told and that was it! I walked out of the water stating how I wished I could stay in a little longer. It was so nice and warm... like a hot tub. I wanted to stay in the water longer, but not necessarily with this lady as my company!
Before going back into my private bathroom I mentioned something to the lady about how powerful hair is and that is the reason why I haven't cut mine in years. I was told not to cut it. (Hair actually connects us to the universe). She didn't say much to that because in reality she didn't really care or believe in what I was saying.. She just had to get to the next customer. So I asked the lady one more question..."Should I rinse off in the shower?" and she told me "No, this water is very good for you." So I went back into my private bathroom and didn't rinse myself off. I just dried myself off with the robe. However, I thought it was odd,... because I remembered when we spoke on the phone that she told me I would rinse off after dipping. Was it possible that she just didn't want me to use the shower because she would then have to clean it? I wondered.
So after I got dressed I went back to the waiting room where I was handed the laminated prayer that I wasn't allowed to say in the mikvah room, because I would have read it too slowly. So I read through the english and slowly read through the Hebrew. The lady asked me if I understood what I was reading... and I said "Yes." A lot of young ladies started to arrive. They were mostly wearing head wraps around there head to hide their hair. One girl, that I found out was from Long Island, just had her regular hair out. No wig or wrap. She was obviously not ultra religious. I overheard her talking about how her child or children were not accepted into quite a few schools. She was disappointed and trying to find a school that would accept them. She seemed to have a judgmental energy towards me but maybe that was just because I interrupted her discussion to tell her I was from Queens, NY. She didn't care. However, when she emerged from her mikvah appointment her energy seemed much more pleasant. That was interesting!
I spoke to two very nice friendly non judgmental young ladies in the waiting room that made me feel welcome. They seemed quite happy... and they were very beautiful too (inside and out). One actually told me where to find a good kosher hamburger. I wrote down the name of the restaurant. I do hope to get over there one day. The restaurant is all the way on the other side of town. I was telling her about how I am a reiki energy healer. She never heard of reiki and asked me what it was. I explained that I channel life force energy for healing. She seemed open-minded and willing to hear about it. There was another girl who walked in that was full of judgement. I could see her gazing at me strangely out of my peripheral. Well, I am known to say some off the wall stuff. Apparently, not everything I was saying was kosher! Ha ha! Yes, sometimes I can speak my mind a bit too much. I should just save it for the blog right?
So finally, I asked the lady in charge about the reading materials she had for me. There was a pause. I could feel that she didn't want to give me any reading materials because she wasn't so sure that she wanted me to come back. At least that's how it felt. Or maybe the reading materials just didn't seem to pertain to me. But she couldn't be that rude, so she picked out a book for me. It was all about helping me to have a happy marriage: "Marriage Secrets: A Woman's Guide to Make Your Marriage Even Better" by Leah Richeimer. I found that to be quite amusing because here I am all into spiritual, esoteric, occult, mystical secret books, and this lady is handing me a book on how to make my marriage better....and I'm not even married! I graciously accepted the book and told her that I would definitely read it (and I have in fact started reading it and it's actually a good book!). I thanked her for the book and for the experience and waved goodbye stating that I would see her next month. She didn't look so pleased. Well, her energy didn't look so pleased. So I got in the car and drove home. I called my mom while I was driving to tell her about the experience. I was a bit in shock but by the time I got home it all hit me.
As soon as I entered my apartment I felt miserable... worse then ever! I became sad, angry and depressed. I started to cry. I felt unaccepted. Not good enough. I felt a bit of guilt for lying about my mother. Even worse, I slightly envied the young ladies I had met. They all seemed so happy. They were married with children and seemed so full of joy. I wanted that. But the worst feeling for me was the feeling of rejection. Ofcourse it wasn't a full blown obvious rejection. It was a more subtle energetic rejection. I also felt like I had picked up some negative entities/ energies off of the lady in charge and off the place in general. But how could this be? I was supposed to feel cleansed and refreshed! Instead I felt slightly violated and infected with bad energy. This was not how I had imagined I would feel. In fact, I was so affected by the experience that I lost all of my desire and passion to recite the hebrew prayers that I typically recite on a daily basis. I couldn't believe it! I lost all interest in Judaism... temporarily... that is until Shabbat arrived... thank God/ Hashem!
So on Saturday afternoon I actually recited an entire Shabbat service all my myself. I had printed out the service online. It was in English, Hebrew and had a transliteration which made it easier for me to get through. It was an amazing day actually! The more I prayed the more energized I became! It was miraculous! However, once Shabbat ended, my terrible mikvah experience resurfaced and I became depressed again.
I called up my mom and told her how I was feeling. She told me that she couldn't even believe that I went to a mikvah. She would never ever in her life do such a thing. She said that the mikvah custom is totally sexist towards women. So I started to explain to her that as sexist as it seems it makes sense. When women menstruate they become targets for energetic attacks and even moreso they become targets for negative entity attachments. And if they engage in intercourse without cleansing themselves they can pass these negative entities to their partners during intercourse. Now obviously, this is some secret esoteric information that the lower levels of Judaism are probably not even discussing or aware of... but this is the reality! Dipping your entire body in water, especially salt water, removes negative entities. I've done this before in my very own bathtub. Ofcourse, it's better to do it in a bigger tub so your entire body can be covered in the water. My mom didn't respond to what I was saying... which means that she kind of got what I was saying. She knows that I'm an energy healer and she believes in what I do. She knows I've encountered negative entities before and she knows that I know how to get rid of them...
Because of how I bad I felt after attending the mikvah I started wondering if I should actually go back to this mikvah ever again or perhaps try to find another mikvah or perhaps just go to a natural hot springs and use it as a mikvah instead (which is possible). On Sunday night, after reciting Psalm 125 in the Book of Tehilim, I received a prophetic vision/ thought that the mikvah building is not a safe place for me to be. It was as if I was being warned not to go back there. Then another thought came to me... Don't go to any Jewish gatherings, buildings or mikvahs. None of these are safe! Stay hidden! What's interesting about this warning is that it what received after reciting Psalm 125 which is titled, "Those who trust in Hashem are always secure. He protects them from both the physical and spiritual assaults of the wicked." I was convinced that I had received a divine prophecy. I was being protected by the most high! I would not go back to that mikvah again. In fact, I would not attend any mikvahs. I will create my own at a hot springs and all will be well. I suppose I'm going to have to mail the marriage book back to the mikvah! I definitely have to return it when I'm done reading it.
In retrospect, I realize now that a lot of the bad energy/ misery I had taken home with me after partaking of the mikvah was energy that I had absorbed from the lady in charge of the mikvah. I don't think she is happy. She may actually be miserable. She may be envious of all the happy young ladies that are attending the mikvah. She may be involved in a troubled marriage herself? I don't know the facts... But I do know that I don't get envious of other people. It's not my thing. But as an empath I do pick up other people's thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it's a good thing when people are happy. This time around it was detrimental. I really have to be careful where I go and who I spend time with... And I have to be especially careful and in good energy when removing my protection medallions! Yes, when I remove the medallions the energetic attacks are even worse than ever!
In summary, I am going to continue to pray, study and perform mitzvot ... but alone! This is what's best for me! I haven't given up on God or Judaism... but people... they are always going to be questionable! Interesting enough... the Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok states in his book "Walking in the Fire: Classical Torah/ Kabbalistic Meditations, Practices and prayers" , that reaching higher levels of consciousness and connection with God is not to be found in groups... one must study/ pray alone! Well, I think I'm just going to have to continue following that advice... because in reality that's what works best for me anyway! We must all find what works best for each of us individually! So organized religion... me thinks not! But God/ Hashem... I will always be his loyal humble servant. I will continue maintaining my personal relationship with him. I don't think being part of a group or praying in a group is a prerequisite for being accepted by God. And I do not think he cares whether or not my mother is Jewish... all he cares about is my intentions and what's in my heart! That's all that really matters! So F what everyone else thinks! LOL... As for the lady at the mikvah, I am not mad at her. I forgive her and I thank her for she has showed me exactly where I am supposed to be... obviously not there at the mikvah with her! LOL! Whew! I feel much better now! It's so nice to express myself! THE END!
UPDATE May 10, 2022: So a friend of mine, who happens to be Jewish, contacted me on facebook after reading this article and gave me his opinion. I felt compelled to share the conversation. So here goes:
I read your Mikveh post Apr 29, 2022, 10:04 AM
I have some feedback if you care to hear! May 2, 2022, 8:26 PM
Sure! You sent It's good to hear from you! You sent Very Mercury Retrograde... Were in the shadow phase now! May 2, 2022, 9:18 PM
Z You too I hope you’ve been well So my wife and I both learned several sessions of Family Purity Laws (in Hebrew, Taharat Mishpacha) classes before she attended a Mikveh. So there was a lot of education and preparation prior to her going, and as a married woman In fact, I’ve never heard of a woman going to a traditional Mikveh unless she’s married
Also, it sounds like you may have been dishonest, which was probably the reason you had a anxious experience, feeling like you weren’t forthright. Hence the mix of negative emotions that stemmed from the experience. Perhaps it wasn’t done under the right circumstances. No judgment given, just my honest and straightforward thoughts You could always go to a fresh body of water or the ocean and do a natural Mikveh. No need to necessarily going to an orthodox women’s Mikveh where things are done very particularly in order to prepare the woman to be intimately with her husband upon return I really sorry you’ve get judged all these years, and I think you have a major draw to Judaism which is obvious. If there’s any doubt as to your maternal lineage, there’s always the option of conversion to seal the deal if you feel called to it. These are just the laws of the Torah, it’s not to reject you HaShem forbid, it’s observant people following Torah which calls specifically for maternal consideration May 3, 2022, 6:02 PM
You sent Thanks for your input Z! I appreciate your kind non-judgmental tone/ energy! And I really do appreciate that you read my article... Considering that I didn't even post it anywhere! And yes, I absolutely agree with what you are saying. Part of the issue was that I felt bad in the beginning because I wasn't being entirely honest with the lady at the mikvah. So much of the problem stems with me and I realize this. I am not trying to place the blame on anyone else. The lady was actually very nice to me and I don't think she had any bad intentions towards me. In the end I decided to go to the Beverly Hot Springs to create my own mikvah experience. It was much better except for the fact that the water was way too hot! And the mikvah dip is supposed to happen 20 minutes after sunset...but the hot springs closes at 8pm so I felt a bit rushed. But yeah...I'm not married... just been around the same guy for approx. 17 years which is basically married without the title... but that's a long story! Anyways... I'm over it. I decided to just keep my spiritual practices to myself... well,I write blog articles so not quite... but I like to do my praying, reading, learning, meditating etc alone. That's what works for me! But enough about me... How's married life? Mon 6:45 PM
You sent I would like to paste this conversation as an update at the end of my article if that's okay with you. I'll keep it anonymous. You make some good points! Mon 7:13 PM
Z If you’d like! Also keep in mind the Mikveh is timed so they should be ovulating right when they go, hence having the best chance of getting pregnant in those next few dsys 8:18 PM
You sent Thanks for the info! That's interesting to know! I appreciate you! And Happy Mercury Retrograde! It just began today! Take care! Be well!
Jennie H is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!