This blog was first published as a Times of Israel blog on April 3, 2017:
On the 21st of Nisan, 3,300 years ago, the Israelites stepped out of “impure” Egypt into water. They emerged from the water as a nation — the Jewish people, purified, united and on a mission to serve God.
This is our season of freedom, of releasing ourselves from the things which enslave us, which prevent us from fulfilling our potential. Every year, I marvel at how the message is relevant. But this year, the ability to be transformed by letting go of practices or perceptions that bind us feels especially relevant to me. This year, I have seen a sea-change take place around the topic of mikveh.
Women are speaking out more — and being heard — by mikveh attendants, religious councils and Israel’s highest legislative body. Significant change was made via the Supreme Court ruling that ensures that women, individually, have the right to take mastery over their mikveh immersions. The Eden Center’s work, training and educating mikveh attendants to be more sensitive and aware of women’s emotional and physical needs in the mikveh, has spread significantly in Israel to reach over 60 cities and has drawn attention and programming in major US cities. I celebrate the amazing accomplishments we have achieved in the past few months and hope to move with my nation out of murky waters of disappointment and frustration into more positive, meaningful religious experiences.