Welcome to the Jewish future, which is very, very cute.
Welcome to the premiere of Mayyim Hayyim’s first documentary film, funded by CJP and Natan and produced by Jennifer Kaplan. In “Welcoming Waters: Mikveh for Babies,” you will meet Clara Grossman, ten weeks old, who gurgles and smiles as her mother carries her into the big, beautiful mikveh that we built just for her. Well, for her and all 1400 other babies and grown-ups who have immersed as part of their conversion to Judaism since our opening in 2004.
The goal of this three-minute film is to demonstrate that mikveh for babies is not a rote or pro forma ritual without relevance or meaning; nor is it a terrible ordeal for child or parents. This story and these images illustrate the beauty and power and great joy of an ancient ritual when time and attention are paid to every detail.
Notice how pretty and spacious the mikveh is. See how the rabbi smiles and teaches and reassures. Listen as parents Jennifer and Ricky explain – in their own words – why they are making this Jewish choice. Watch the joy on her grandparents’ faces – all four of them, including her non-Jewish Grandma and Grandpa, who are beaming, fully engaged and comfortable.
With her immersion, Clara (Chava Ester bat Reuven v Sarah) becomes a tiny member of the tribe. Of course, it’s not just the pristine, warm water that makes her Jewish, presto-chango. The key is the commitment – the kavvanah — of her parents, who are choosing to give her the gift of a Jewish life in a Jewish home.
I dare you not to well up, just a little.
- Anita Diamant, Founder and President, Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center
(Cross posted with the Mayyim Hayyim Blog)