Menopause Celebration

Found In: Menopause

Tags: mikveh, shehekheyanu , priestly blessing

Complete Ceremony

At the Mikveh

(This ritual uses a conch shell which is sounded. A shofar could also be blown. It prescribes 3 immersions, each exploring a different question.)

Before the first immersion recite:

Modah ani lifnei ha-sh'khinah mayan chayei olam, sh'baratni v'yatzra bi chokhmah.

I am thankful before the Shekhinah, the indwelling Presence, who created me a woman and created in me the power of wisdom.

Before the first immersion, ask participants to concentrate on the question:
"Who have I been?"

After the first immersion recite:

B'rukhah at Yah, Sh'khinah, Eloteinu malkat ha-olam, asher kidshatnu b'mitzvotekha v'tzivatnu al ha-t'vilah.

Blessed are you, God, indwelling presence, queen of the universe, who has inspired us to cleanse and purify our innermost being.

Shout, ululate, blow conch shell.

Before the second immersion, ask participants to concentrate on the question:
"Who am I now?"

After the second immersion recite:

B'rukhah at Yah, Sh'khinah, Eloteinu malkat ha-olam, shehechiyatnu v'kiy'matnu, v'higiatnu, la-z'man ha-zeh.

Blessed are you, God, indwelling presence, queen of the universe, who has sustained us and allowed us to reach this moment.

Shout, ululate, blow conch shell.

Before the third immersion, ask participants to concentrate on the question:
"Who am I becoming? What is my next task?"

After the third immersion, recite:

Sh'ma yisrael, Yah Eloheinu Yah echad.

Listen, all you who strive toward and wrestle with God, all being is of God, all being is one.

Shout, ululate, blow conch shell.

Around the Fire or Somewhere Comfortable

Gather at a comfortable ritual site, preferably near a fire. Stand in a circle. Prepare a goblet of wine and a goblet of water.

Recite the blessing over wine:

B'rukhah at Yah, Sh'khinah, Eloteinu malkat ha-olam, boreit p'ri ha-gafen.

Blessed are you, God, indwelling presence, queen of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Recite the blessing over water:

B'rukhah at Yah, Sh'khinah, Eloteinu malkat ha-olam, she'ha-kol nihiyeh bidvarah.

Blessed are you, God, indwelling presence, queen of the universe, who creates everything according to her will.

Holding the wine and water, process in a circle, calling upon Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah: "Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel, mothers of our people, be with us." Place the wine and water in the center of the circle.

Sit around the circle. Ask each woman to introduce herself as ______ daughter of ______ daughter of _____ (she should go back as far as she can). After each woman recites her name, the group should say: brucha ha'baah (welcome).

After being welcomed, each speaker should say something about what this new stage in life means to her, and should include some menopause stories if the group is small. Then she should recite the following blessing over menopause:

B'rukhah at Yah, Sh'khinah, Eloteinu malkat ha-olam, al kiddush ha-chayyim.

Blessed are you, God, indwelling presence, queen of the universe, for sanctifying life.

The group should recite over her:

May the one who blessed our mothers Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel, Miriam the prophet and Deborah the wise, bless this woman. May she give and receive love, perform good deeds, and seek wisdom. In Sarah's name, we bring this woman _____ into the tent of wisdom seeking.

If anyone is taking a new name as a result of this life change, the previous paragraph should include "This woman who has chosen a new name ____..."

When the circle is finished, the group should recite the following:

T'varekh Sh'khinah v'tishmerekh.
May the Shekhinah bless you and guard you.
Ta'er Sh'khinah paneha elayich v'y'chunayikh.
May her presence shine on you and be favorable to you.
Tisa Sh'khinah paneha elayich v'tasem lach shalom.
May her face turn to you and give you wholeness and peace.

Seek knowledge. Revere wisdom. Be joyful. Know pleasure. Love one another. Protect life. Live in peace. Amen.

This ritual may be followed by telling of menopause stories, or some stories may be included in each participant's recitation during the circle. Refreshments should be served. If you wish, conclude the ritual with drumming and dancing, or with staying up to watch the sun rise.