A curated online anthology of Lilith’s most fascinating mikvah-related articles, culled from the magazine’s voluminous archives. This collection includes first-person accounts and analysis of the traditional women’s ritual practice of monthly immersion prior to resuming sexual contact after menstruation, plus narratives of women using mikvah to mark major life changes like divorce or a name change, and reports on using the mikvah for healing, for gender transition, and after recovery from grave illness.
Mikvah Becomes Mainstream?
by Melanie Weiss
The Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (an organization of Conservative rabbis) tries to articulate a Conservative movement stance on the issue of mikvah.
Mikvahs Are Hot
by Alice Sparberg Alexiou
In your grandmothers day, it was only Orthodox women who still went to the mikvah every month. But now, women from all over the Jewish spectrum are reclaiming and reshaping this ancient rite.
Rhythms of the Blood
by C. Devora Hammer
Sex in an Orthodox marriage revolves around the laws of niddah—or the laws of menstruation—which require, among other things, that women visit the mikvah monthly. The author discusses the evolution of her feelings toward niddah and the mikvah through years of marriage, births, and childrearing.
Immerse and Emerge: Revisiting the Mikvah
by Julie Sugar
December 19, 2011
Newly divorced, the author prepares for Yom Kippur by visiting the mikvah for herself—not for her marriage—for the first time…and decides to submerge twenty-seven times.
Take Back the Waters
by Rabbi Elyse M. Goldstein
A Reform rabbi participates in a feminist reappropriation of the mikvah.
New Scholarship on Why Women Love Mikvah
by Susan Sapiro
On Charlotte Fonrobert and Jane Rothstein’s important academic research.
by Sarah Greenberg
Ethiopian menstrual traditions in 21st-century Israel.
Working the Mikveh
fiction by Amy Gottlieb
“Chani immerses so beautifully; she was born for this kind of holiness. First she dips once and I declare her immersion kosher. She mutters a blessing and catches her breath. Two more dips. Kosher. Kosher.”
by Amy Stone
After the Bush election, “the ritual of the mikvah felt right.”
Before Marrying Again…
by Jordana Horn
She didn’t go before her first wedding, so why is she at the mikveh now?
In the Image of God
by Danya Ruttenberg
Transgender Jews use powerful mikveh rituals to mark gender change.
Try This: A Health Library in the Mikveh…
by Nechama Liss-Levinson
A women’s health library at the mikveh offers women a way to overcome the shame, anxiety and financial constraints that might prevent them from buying these books at the bookstore or taking them out from the library.
by Esther Moritz
Submerged in the mikveh, the author finally breaks free of her mother’s metaphorical grasp.
Hot Springs Mikveh
by Marna Sapsowitz
Two Jews-by-choice and their funky feminist rabbi pack hiking shoes and a bracha for a dip in the hot springs of the Pacific Northwest.
Mastectomy: Twelve Months After Surgery
by Jerilyn Goodman
The author commemorates the first anniversary of her mastectomy with a mikveh immersion ceremony. (Ceremony included.)
Women Rabbis on Miscarriage
by Susan Schnur
A visit to the mikveh could be part of a formal Jewish ritual response to miscarriage.
The End of a Love Story
by Naomi Danis
Mikveh as a purifying and healing ritual after family violence.