And G-d said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so” (Genesis 1:9).
As I sit here writing this column, I hear the rain falling outside. I am saddened that what brings MACoM and our community so much joy is causing so much heartache for our friends in Texas and Florida. Just as many Jews ready themselves for the High Holidays, we at MACoM ready our mikvah.
One of the many tasks is the emptying, inspecting, cleaning and ultimate refilling of the bor (cistern) used. While this is not necessarily required this time of year, it fits into our schedule nicely before the rush of the High Holidays. We usually block out time at the end of August, knowing that the weather will ultimately set the schedule. We then wait and watch the weather.
The irony of this situation is that the rain that brought so much devastation to Texas was part of the same system that filled our wonderful mikvah. As I walked our facility, I enjoyed the beautiful photographic art exhibit, “Mayim Rabim: Many Waters.” The beautiful nature photography sat in stark contrast to what I was seeing on the nightly news.
What was the lesson that I was supposed to be learning at this moment?
As I sat with my thoughts, I could hear the water dripping through the Plexiglas and into the mikvah from the rooftop reserve. The sound of the water drew me in for a closer look. There was only a light rain outside, and I watched individual drops of living water (mayim hayim) traverse their way down to the well.
At first, I enjoyed this moving meditation, but quickly my mind turned to worry. Would the bor fill up fast enough to be open for our scheduled immersions in the morning? Would we have enough time to balance and filter the water properly? And when did I learn so much about mikvah?
That last question made me smile and reminded me of the bigger picture.
What is the bigger picture as we enter 5778? As I reflect on the past year, the main word that comes to mind is gratitude — gratitude for all the blessings that have happened to us this year.
MACoM is growing in leaps and bounds, and 5777 has been an amazing year. Our first community celebration, A Mitzvah for the Mikvah, was a huge success. We look forward to gathering our community together on March 15, 2018, for this annual celebration.
Our new and energized board gathered for its first retreat to plan for the upcoming year. Our education committee is busy preparing to train the next cohort of volunteer mikvah guides. We welcomed a part-time staff member, Amy Ruda, to coordinate our education and outreach efforts. The list goes on.
We encourage you to visit us. Call 404-549-9679 for an immersion appointment, volunteer opportunity, gallery tour or class. Follow us on Facebook, or visit atlantamikvah.org.
Most important, have a healthy and happy new year. May we all continue to weather the storms that life brings as a community and a nation. L’shana tova.
Caryn Hanrahan is the president of the Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah.