Adi Samson, the co-director of Likrat Shlichut, a program which trains community rabbis rebbetzins to provide Jewish spiritual care (http://www.kehalim.org/english/index.html), taught a class to balanioton effective communication techniques. Mrs. Samson’s goal for the course was to train the balaniot in the skill of active listening, which she considers a fundamental skill for building emotionally meaningful connections with others. [Read more…]
Its really important to know that there is somewhere to bring any complaint.
According to the website of the Office of Religious Services, there is now a national hotline for all issues related to Mikvaot throughout Israel. This includes related to repairs or complaints in women’s mikvaot. The hotline will work 24 hours a day, except for half an hour before Shabbat/Holidays until half an hour after Shabbat/Holiday has gone out. The idea is to give an address, in real time, to deal with the mikveh.
According to the announcement, all complaints that the hotline receives will be addressed immediately.
Phone number: 03 7563313
The original announcement can be found on the site of the Office of Religious Services.
When a large portion of the Yom Kippur Avoda revolved around the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) there were no less than five mikvah immersions as part of the ritual. Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld’s new book “Food for the Spirit: Inspirational Lessons from the Yom Kippur Service” has a chapter devoted to the topic. In it, Rabbi Herzfeld, whose synagogue Ohev Shalom- The National Synagogue (in Washinton DC,) recently built a new mikveh, asks why mikvah is so central to the Avoda and what is the spiritual value of Mikvah? He goes on to explore the value of mikvah as a symbol of being “reborn and invigorated in our service of God,” suggesting that ideally after immersion we come out as someone new. He also discusses how mikvah in general is a ritual where the individual immersing gets a fresh start or is recommitting to a relationship- on Yom Kippur to Hashem, for a woman- to her relationship.
May his thoughts inspire us. Gmar Chatima Tova!
To explore these and other ideas further, check out the book. Proceeds help fund the Ohev Shalom mikvah.
On Erev Yom Kippur this year in Toronto, there will be long lines at the women’s mikvaot. “The atmosphere at the mikveh is one of hustling and bustling, everyone is in a rush; a good kind of rush, where we all feel a sense of urgency while waiting our turns for a room,” says Diana Melnick, a high school educator and a kallah teacher. “However, once it’s your turn, no one would dare to disturb you and you are free to be in the mikveh for as long as you need to daven.” [Read more…]
The second time I ever went to the Mikveh stands out in my mind. I was nervous and hesitant and felt like a vulnerable novice. Would I bump into someone I knew on the way? Would I remember what to do? Would it be awkward if I recognized someone in the waiting area? Anxiously, I entered what I was only half certain was the entrance to the mikveh. [Read more…]