The new mikva rulings passed down by the high court, supporting women’s choice to immerse alone, was not a law I saw being passed anytime in the near future.
Going back three and a half years:
I remember that day so clearly, although I push it away and try to keep it buried deep down memory lane. I find things to keep my mind occupied so that it doesn’t wander back to those dark moments. Because those moments/ days/ weeks and months until we moved were very difficult.
I was sitting in a meeting at the Knesset, women’s issues, of course. And I was looking forward to meeting with MK Aliza Lavi following the meeting. The notifications on my phone were going ballistic, and as I read comment after comment, the tears came down, and I couldn’t control my feelings and emotions. I excused myself from the meeting and went straight home.
I wanted a mikva law that would protect women’s rights at the mikva.
I chose to go public with my request/ plea/ demand following what I call “the straw that broke the camels back.” Yes, I had a humiliating experience at the mikva. Like it or not Bet Shemesh community- it happened IN Bet Shemesh. It happens all over the place. No, it wasn’t the lovely, kind, balanit Rivka. Never said it was. Yes, Rav Spektor Z”L knew it wasn’t her. The woman who was there that night, was removed from that mikvah. You’re welcome.
You all made assumptions, said horrible things about me all over the place, and nearly pushed me over the edge with your words. Words that almost killed.
BUT I WIN.
The ending is a good one.
A group of (kick ass!) women, along with ITIM’s Rabbi Dr. Shaul Farber, and attorney Elad Caplan, were able to change the rulings in favor of the women who desire to immerse alone.
The Israeli Rabbinate, has forced women going to immerse in the mikva to have a balanit assist- when no assistance was requested, or wanted. Watched- when we do not want to be watched. The Rabbanut had full control over the emotions and bodies of women who chose to tovel in the PUBLIC mikva.
The new Mikva law in Israel has taken me back three years to the article I wrote, in which I stated that EACH woman has the right to immerse in the mikva, however she chooses. It is each woman’s decision. It wasn’t the popular thing to write about at the time, and although I paid a high price for writing it, three years later, and all I can think of is:
“שהחיינו וקיימנו והגענו לזמן הזה”