Nearly every Jewish woman is busy this coming Monday night– hosting or attending a Seder. And some are really busy! And on a tight schedule. And a few are even busier than others; mikveh attendants all over the world will be ‘on the job’ just as night sets and Seders begin, because they are committed to the mitzvah of immersion at the right time, and to the women they serve.
We asked a few attendants to give us their reflections on working on Seder night. We heard no resentment. On the contrary, time and again their response was appreciation for having the opportunity to be there for women at the mikveh. One attendant even mentioned having met a woman at 3am to open the mikveh so she could immerse that night.
We present their voices and bless them that they should be supported by their communities and by God in the same loving and committed way that they service women.
“I worked for a few years on Seder night. What I remember most is the sense of purpose that I felt on that night. The recognition that it was a personal sacrifice to be working at the mikveh but also a tremendous privilege. I remember the rushed but almost giddy atmosphere in which the women rushed in and quickly immersed so that they could get back to either the davening or home in order to continue with the day’s activity. Everyone who walked in had a story as to how they had slipped out of the home or synagogue to make their way quickly and surely to the mikveh. Everyone warmly wished me Chag Sameach. There was a festive atmosphere to the proceedings. A sense of the daughters of Israel coming to ‘go out of Egypt’ in a state of sanctity.”- Nechama
“Receiving women at the mikveh Leil HaSeder feels especially elevated and powerful. While Pesach is a communal holiday when we celebrate leaving Mitzraim as a nation, for the woman tovelling (immersing), this night her own personal Mitzraim comes into focus for her. It is an opportunity to bless her and daven in the merit of her tevilla, to see Hashem’s “strong hand” taking her out of her Mitzraim to a revealed redemption, גאולה גלויה.” -Chaya
“As a balanit, hosting a Seder at home, I left the stress of the preparations at home and came to the calm Mikva! (I was quite happy to get away.) On a regular Friday night we usually about 10 ladies. On Seder night we had one lady. After my initial disappointment, I felt quite joyful that I made that effort– even just for the one. She had made her effort so I was proud to have done my part in enabling her mitzva”- Shira
“I am happy to help women immerse on Seder night. I actually feel thankful to Hashem for the merit of doing so, and feel true joy and love when I accompany someone”.- Chava
“Balanit on Seder night. What a special experience. Expectations are low, because how many women can we expect to be able to organize themselves in time for this important mitzvah? But the facts on the ground surprise me each time anew. Every woman who manages to prepare for this special and complex holiday is worthy of the Nobel Prize, and a woman who succeeds in preparing in time and comes to the mikveh deserves boundless praise! So come happily- we’re there for you! Chag Sameach”- Rachel
Thank you our dear mikveh attendants!