Pre-High Holy Days Immersion Ceremony

white woman with eyes closed immersed in water, half her face submerged, smiling
There is a Jewish tradition of immersing in a mikveh before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the High Holidays. This is an opportunity to prepare oneself spiritually to enter a time of renewal. Immersion can take place in a mikveh or other body of water, depending on your style of Jewish observance.

You may prepare for the ritual with a song, such as “Return Again,” by Shlomo Carlebach
As I immerse,
May I open to the possibility of forgiveness.
May my entry into these waters mark my intention to forgive myself,
Forgive others, and ask others to forgive me.
May my resistance to this task be dissolved by these healing waters.
Hear my prayer, God.
May I have the courage and clarity to engage
In the process of repentance and teshuvah.
Blessed are you, Majestic Spirit of the Universe, who makes us holy by embracing us in living waters.
For all my wrongs, O God of compassion and forgiveness,
Forgive me and help me to forgive myself and others,
Wiping the slate clean, renewing me,
And returning me to the land of my soul.
Source of all Life,
In Your oneness, I find healing and wholeness.
May I return to my true self and be strengthened as I continue my journey of tikkun ha-lev, repairing my heart,
tikkun ha-nefesh, repairing my soul,
and tikkun olam, doing my part in repairing the world.
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam shehekheyanu v’kimanu v’higianu la’zman hazeh.
Blessed are you, Source of Life, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

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