Set my intention to not waste God’s precious gift of each present moment by filling it with anger about the past or fear of the future. I can just say yes to whatever is before me. I can accept it fully. I may not like it, but I surrender to “this.” I fall in love, each moment, again and again. I make this moment my friend. I remind myself that I can “greet this moment in friendship with an undefended heart.”
This phrase from the Song of Songs reminds me to stay with the truth of what is right now, with a clear and vital intention of making each moment my Beloved.
Chant during preparation:
זֶה דּוֹדִי וְזֶה רֵעִי
Zeh Dodi v’zeh re’i
This is my Beloved; this is my Friend. (Song of Songs 5:16)
First Immersion – God’s promise
The Waters represent the times of transition, as we pass from slavery to freedom, from womb through birth into our lives, from life through death into the Sea of Oneness or into the embrace of the Beloved. The important thing is not to fear, to know that God’s Presence is and has always been with you… through every transition, through every transformation.
—Rabbi Shefa Gold
Slowly descend the steps into the mikvehThe 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. waters and then chant:
כִּי תַּעֲבֹר בַּמַּיִם אִתְּךָ אֲנִי וּבַנְּהָרוֹת לֹא יִשְׁטָפֻךָ
Ki ta’avor bamayyim itkha ani, u’va’n’harot lo yishtafukha
When you pass through the waters, I am with you, yes, I am with you.
I won’t let the rivers overwhelm you, I will be with you. (Isaiah 43:2)
Immerse completely so that every part of your body is covered in the warm water of the mikveh.
When you emerge, recite the following blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בִּטְבִילָה בַּמַּיִם חַיִּים
Barukh atah, Adonai Eloheynu, Melekh ha’olam
asher kidshanu bi-t’vilah b’mayyim khayyim
Blessed are You, God, Majestic Spirit of the Universe
Who makes us holy by embracing us in living waters.
This is a moment when the heavens are especially open to our prayers.
Take a moment to express your own heart’s prayer.
Second Immersion – Pure
Every moment can be received as a point of transition and an opening into a whole new world. As I step into who I am becoming, I need to be washed clean of prejudice, expectation, fear, anger, the scars of previous traumas, disappointments and limited perspective. As I immerse, may I be cleansed and purified, forgiven, and washed clean. Please God, soften and dissolve all my old scars that bind me into old patterns.
כָּל מִשְׁבָּרֶיךָ וְגַלֶּיךָ עֲלֵי עֲבָרוּ טָהוֹר הוּא טֹהֲרָה הִיא
Kol mish’barekha v’galekha alai avaru
Tahor Hu, T’horah Hi
All of Your breakers and Your waves have swept over me.
She is pure. (Psalm 42:8)
Take a deep breath and exhale completely, while gently and completely immersing for the second time.
בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ מְקוֹר הַחַיִּים מְחַדֶּשֶׁת בְּכָל יוֹם תָּמִיד מַעְשָׁה בְּרֵאשִׁית וְהְגִיעַתְנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה לְהִתְחַדֵּשׁ בִּטְבִילָה
B’rukhah at M’kor ha-khayyim, m’khadeshet b’khol yom tamid ma’aseh b’reyshit,
v’higiatnu la-z’man ha-zeh l’hitkhadesh bit’vilah.
Blessed are You, Source of life, who renews the works of creation daily and who
has given me this opportunity to find renewal through immersion.
Third Immersion – Opening to the source of Flow
When I accept each moment as the gift it is, when I live open to the source of Divine flow, then I can enter and dwell in Eden, if only for a short time.
וְנָהַר יֹצֵּא מֵאֶדֶן לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת הַגַּן
V’nahar yotzey me’eden, l’hashkot et hagan.
A river comes forth from Eden to water the garden. (Genesis 2:10)
Immerse then express gratitude for this miracle of Goodness:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה.
Barukh atah Adonay Eloheynu, Hey ha’olamim,
shehekheyanu v’kiyimanu, v’higyanu lazman hazeh.
Blessed are You Adonai, our God, Life of all worlds, Who has
granted us life and brought us together in this season of our joy.
All chants are by Rabbi Shefa Gold: