As you can imagine, cameras were not allowed in the mikvah.
There I was, standing naked in the mikvah, having a life-changing spiritual moment, yet the man I was thinking about wasn’t my now-husband. It was Jonny. My husband’s friend.
Jonny had told me, just days before, not to screw up my mikvah by floating away like a pufferfish (my words, not his). He said to fully exhale so I would sink and remain curled like a ball without unfolding like an accordion.
After each of the three blessings, which I had spent all week memorizing, I thought of his stern but caring advice. I had done my best all year to be a model student.
I couldn’t all of a sudden have a less than perfect mikvah experience!
After each blessing, I inhaled deeply before slowly exhaling and sinking into the warm water.
In just a few minutes it was over. With the last “Kasher!” from the female rabbi who was making sure all my dunks were kosher, everyone waiting for me broke out into a hearty rendition of Siman Tov to celebrate. Overwhelmed, I took a moment to bury my face in my wet hands to collect myself.
I slowly made my way up the seven stairs, wrapped myself up in a towel and, as the door swung open into the foyer, introduced myself as a Jew.