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  • Carol Kleine

The Mikvah Attendant

Updated: Feb 5, 2020

I don’t know why, but the idea of the mikvah attendant worried me. Immersing in a warm spa-like mikvah sounded great. Learning about and observing the detailed laws of preparing for the mikvah was a discipline I valued. But the mikvah attendant? Who was this lady who would greet me as I entered the mikvah building? What was her role?

Well, from the moment she ushered me into the beautiful, private, regal mikvah building, I felt at ease. She was just SO welcoming, and also extremely kind. She led me into the preparation room and told me to ring the intercom bell when I was ready. She would then come and show me into the immersion room.

I spent time in the preparation room making full use of the wonderful amenities the mikvah provided. Then I wrapped myself in a towel and rang for the attendant. Once in the immersion room, she asked if she could be of any more assistance to me and then humbly stepped aside as I stepped into the waters. I let her know when I was deep in the water and ready for my total immersion so that she could say ‘Kosher’. Each time she said ‘kosher’ I sensed an incredible holiness around me. I could almost see the angels of protection around me, and I felt empowered by my mitzvah. It’s weird cuz when I thought about it afterwards, I realized that I’d barely noticed that there was anyone else there, so immersed in thought and prayer was I. Though it did pass my mind that she sure was one humble, unassuming woman to have been there, but to have taken up absolutely no space.

I’ve come to love my mikvah attendant, the G-d fearing, super-sensitive and kind-loving woman whom I see once a month when I visit themikvah. I know that she is there simply for my safety, and to help me ensure that I’ve done a kosher immersion. (Though she did tell me once that she utilizes her time as an attendant at the mikvah to say her own personal prayer as well!) Sometime I like to chat to her. Other times we share hardly a word. But I appreciate so much that no matter my tears or smiles, or my rushing or relaxing disposition, she’s there to support and to help me. She’s there – for me.

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