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This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #ukraine


Bruce Drake
 

Almost every Jewish community had a mikveh, where Jews went for the ritual bath to cleanse themselves of deeds from the past. Unmarried women went to the mikveh prior to their wedding, and married ones did so after their monthly cycle. The function of immersion in the mikveh was also required for conversion to Judaism.
This week’s excerpt about the rituals of the mikveh —from the Yizkor book of Mikulince (Mikulintsy)in Ukraine — is part of a longer piece titled “Yosha the Sexton.” It is Yosha who takes the author there when he was a young boy. “Naked bodies of grown men shocked me at first,” he recalls, providing a vivid description of the experience. For a bride going to the mikveh, “an appointment had to be made in advance with the female bathhouse attendant and the matter was kept secret.”
 
 
Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD
 
Researching: DRACH, EBERT, KIMMEL, ZLOTNICK
Towns: Kovel, Wojnilow