The First Day
I am twenty-five hundred miles from home. I almost missed my flight. Haven’t had a proper meal all day. And was so tired that I gave up seeing a dear friend AND hanging out with my cousin.
Welcome to BeanTown. Only it appears that I’m not actually going to spend any time in the city.
My plan: Touch down at 7:10am. Arrive at hotel by 8:00am. Check into room, take a quick nap, and head into town. I love Boston. Don’t get here enough. And was hoping to enjoy walking the city before meeting up with folks.
My reality: Touch down at 6:45am. Arrive at hotel around 8:00am. Was told that room would be ready at 9:30am. Sat in lobby until room was ready. Around NOON. By this time, exhausted and rather hungry. VERY limited room service options. Too tired to eat. Cancelled lunch plans in order to take a nap. Woke up, got redressed, and went off in search for food. Found a vending machine and grabbed a Snickers and water before heading over to the mikvah.
What is so amazing is how many people I know here at the conference though I came assuming I wouldn’t know anyone. Some from real life. Some I haven’t seen in nearly twenty years. From rabbinical school. From college. From all over. Some I’ve only met online including Velveteen Rabbi.
And we are all here to talk about ==> mikvah. In our breakout sessions, we shared our motivations for attending a mikvah conference. The reasons are vast; some personal, some professional, all fascinating.
For me, my attendance is two-fold. I hope to gain the language that will accurately and passionately articulate why mikvah has a place in liberal Judaism so that I can educate more girls and women about the role it can play in their ritual lives. Furthermore, as I continue in my own ritual observance, I eagerly anticipate wrestling with the texts that have mandated this practice throughout the generations. Though much of the conversation revolves around the innovative ways in which immersion can be used, I am particularly interested in the traditional role mikvah can, and should, play in the Jewish home.
What struck me tonight, amongst other things, is how much I love to learn and how much pleasure I get when listening to an engaging lecturer. Knowing Dr. Jonathan Sarna only through his writings, I was delighted to discover that he is simply amazing in person. I cannot fathom how compelling a professor he must be or how much I would learn if given the opportunity to study with him for any significant length of time.
As was recounted tonight, for many non-Orthodox Jews, the first introduction to a mikvah is atop Masada. It is time for us to reclaim what is rightfully ours.
Haveil Havalim is live over at the Ima’s place. Go see what a great job she did this week and thank her for all of her hard work!