Family Purity

The First Immersion in the Mikvah — at Age 60

“When a friend suggested that I keep the family purity laws, I burst into a peal of laughter,” Oranit begins her story. `’I had never kept the laws of purity and I didn’t even have an idea what it involved. My husband was as anti-religious as possible, and our entire lives we had lived in a kibbutz. Family purity laws sounded like the most ridiculous idea I had ever heard.”

But Oranit had a daughter who was married for 4 years and desperately wanted children. “I wanted with all my heart to do something to give my daughter a merit and my friend had suggested this idea of keeping the family purity laws. At first, Oranit rejected the idea with a laugh, but after a few weeks, she was willing to give it a try.

“I got in touch with the organization ”Mitchabrot”, and they began to teach me the laws. But again I felt it wasn’t for me. At my advanced age, it just didn’t feel right to start keeping it. I told my teacher that these laws are for youngsters and at the age of 60, it seemed less relevant to me.”
The teacher told Oranit that these laws are meant for all stages of life, and keeping them now would be a rectification for the past. “It sounded a little delusory to me. How can I rectify 30 years of marriage in which I didn’t keep these laws?” 

But them something astounding happened to her. “I’m the last person who believes in heavenly omens, but it really happened. I dreamed in the night that my grandfather came to me and I told him, ‘I didn’t do the rectification!’ Grandfather gestured to me that I still had time to rectify myself.” I woke up from the dream and understood that it was an omen. I decided that I’m going to do it.”

Oranit says frankly, “It wasn’t an easy decision. It went against everything I had believed in until then, so I decided to harness my sister (3 years younger than me) and my sister-in-law (a year younger). They had never kept family purity, but they agreed to do it with me for my sake. They knew that I passionately wanted to give my daughter merits so she would be blessed with children.”

The three prepared themselves for their first immersion while carefully observing all the laws. “We felt tremendous excitement at our immersion. We felt it was a great rectification and we felt like brides before their wedding. The following day we couldn’t hold ourselves back, and we traveled to the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai to give thanks for the great merit we had. Even my husband, who is anti-religious and doesn’t connect to anything religious, told me that if it does me any good, he doesn’t care.”

The end of the story was even more amazing. Oranit says that on the week she undertook to keep family purity, her daughter told her that she and her husband were beginning fertility treatments by one of the biggest experts in the country. A few months later, the daughter told her that their second treatment had succeeded and she was now in the third month of her pregnancy.

“I am on the way to becoming a grandmother,” Oranit says with tears in her eyes. “I immersed myself in honor of G-d’s Will, I gave Him this gift, and I feel that He paid me back in the best way I could have hoped.”


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