I developed this ceremony when looking for a meaningful way to mark the anniversary of my conversion. The words in this ceremony are largely adapted from resources produced by Mayyim Hayyim.
Intention – Lit. Intention Refers both to one’s intention when performing a mitzvah or when focusing for prayer. Kavanah also refers to specific readings to help focus one's attention prior to performing an act.
(read before preparing for immersion):
It was between me and the water
The water was my medium
With it I inscribed my name
Invisible and permanent
The house of Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel. became my home
Another step of being
A path traced with new eyes
I opened myself in the water
Immersed myself whole
And I emerged
Complicated and honest as ever
Blessed is the Holy One to whom I entrusted the transformation of my soul.
Blessed is the Holy One Who chose me for the people Israel.
Blessed am I, who choose the people Israel, through the water.
-Adapted from Noa Rachael Kushner
(read at the mikveh’s edge before entering the water):
In gratitude I come today to celebrate the blessings in my life.
I honor those who have helped me along the way and give thanks for their supportive presence.
As I prepare to immerse in the water of the The ritual bath. The waters of the mikveh symbolically purify – they are seen as waters of rebirth. A convert immerses in the mikveh as part of conversion. Many Orthodox married women go to the mikveh following their period and before resuming sexual relations. Couples go to the mikveh before being married. Many, including some men, immerse before Yom Kippur; some go every Friday before Shabbat.,
I appreciate the journey that has brought me to this moment.
And when I emerge from these mayyim hayyim, these living waters,
May I be filled with renewed energy
A sense of direction for my life’s journey
May G!d grant me strength, courage and peace. Amen.
(Slowly descend the steps into the mikveh waters and immerse completely so that every part of your body is covered by the warm water. When you emerge, recite the following blessing):
Baruch Atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha’olam asher kidshanu bi-t’vilah b’mayyim hayyim
Blessed are You, G!d Majestic Spirit of the Universe who makes us holy by embracing us in living waters.
Though the future is uncertain, I release this past year with all its difficulties and joys.
I open my heart to receive the blessing of a new year.
(before immersing read):
Modim anachnu lach
I thank You, G!d, for the many gifts that I experience in my life:
for miracles that surround me every day, for the love of my family and friends, and for the good I have known.
(Take a moment for gratitude.
Take a deep breath and exhale completely, while gently and completely immersing for the second time.
When you emerge, recite the following):
Hashiveinu Adonai eilecha v’nashuvah.
May I return to my true self and be strengthened as I continue my journey of tikkun halev – repairing the heart,
tikkun hanefesh – repairing the soul, and Lit. Repair of the world According to Jewish mysticism, the world is in a broken state. Humanity's job is to join God, as God's partners, in its repair. – repairing the world.
When I feel tainted, G!d remind me that I am holy.
When I feel weak, teach me that I am strong.
When I am shattered, assure me that I can heal.
When I am weary, renew my spirit.
When I am lost, show me that You are near.
(before immersing read):
O Source of Life,
Keep me in awe of sunrise and sunset.
Keep me in wonder of things grand as mountains and oceans.
Let me find joy in ordinary days.
Let me embrace happiness, celebrate life, praise You.
May the blessings of joy, love, kindness, and compassion be with me always.
May I find peace and wholeness as I continue my journey in gratitude.
(Relax, and soften and slowly and completely immerse the third time. Recite the following after emerging):
Baruch Atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha’olam shehecheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higianu la’zman hazeh.
Blessed are You, Eternal our G!d, for giving me life, sustaining me,
and through one miracle after another, for bringing me to this moment.