By Helen Tanchel-Levine
After a lengthy courtship my partner and I decided to get married.
Let me start at the beginning. We are what you would call an 'elderly couple' who have been together for over five years. Our respective children all get on so well and we have spent many joyous Shabbat evenings and Yom Tovim together. When we told our children and grandchildren that we were planning on getting married, there were many tears of joy and happiness from both families. We decided that there was no point in waiting and arranged a wedding within a month.
Everything was 'on track' and then I got a call from my Rebbetzin requesting that we meet. "What could she possibly tell me that I didn’t already know?" I thought. Having been through the 'school of life' I thought there was nothing much regarding marriage that I didn’t know. We spent time exploring the meaning of the Mitzvah of going to the mikvah - and all that it represents in the life of a Jewess. I found our talk and the videos we watched interesting and realised that the mikvah is a time for personal communication with Hashem and something I knew was important… I did all the preparation as was instructed, and my daughter and I arrived at the Great Park Mikvah to be greeted by a lovely lady who put me at ease immediately…. when I immersed myself in the warm comfort of the water and was left alone, I experienced such emotion and a spiritual connection to Hashem that I just cried and prayed for our families and for all our loved ones who are no longer with us. I realised then just how important and meaningful this experience is…