Thursday, June 28, 2007

my first mikvah

last night, as on of the pre-wedding rituals, i got to attend my cousin's mikvah. i had no idea what i was getting myself into. the way it was explained to me, all the girls in the family were going to go to the synagogue and watch my naked cousin be dipped in a pool. it sounded like it was going to be an adult baptism. it wasn't as interesting though. it turned out that it was just a bunch of us girls drinking hot coke out of a bottle and eating these georgian cheese pastries called chachapuri, sitting outside of a dirty looking spa section of a random synagogue. we finally got to go inside after the two orthodox women running the place (and their ill-fitting wigs) let us in to a hot "waiting room". while we waited, my cousin did her mikvah, which basically meant that she took a shower, then dipped into this mini pool of rain water where she said a prayer underwater. meanwhile, our multi-generational room of girls had moved on to a celebratory bottle of wine for the bride-to-be's successful purifying shower.

for those of you goys who bear no familiarity with the mikvah, read up on it on wikipedia. there you will learn that it is a ritual bath supposed to cleanse women of their menstrual and sexual sins. orthodox women do it once a month. my cousin had to do it or else the rabbi would refuse to marry her. my mother jokingly admitted that she did it twice, only to be embarrased for the rest of the night in front of the ill-wigged orthi-women.

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