Immerse Yourself in Your Life by Candace Naliboff, Director of Congregational Engagement

Immerse Yourself in Your Life…Whenever and However you Can

I tend to immerse myself. I have always done it…with learning Spanish, counseling school children, reading Harry Potter books, cheering for the SF Giants, helping family and friends. It is who I am. When I moved here with my husband a little over four years ago, I knew only our wonderful daughter, Leah. So to begin to make my life in Charlotte, I immersed myself in Temple Beth El. I joined Keshet, became Recording Secretary for Sisterhood, made many wonderful friends, and I even ended up working here. See what I mean about me and immersion!?

So several years ago, when Rabbi Judy and Cantor Mary offered me the opportunity to go to the mikvah as a part of Fuel for Elul and my High Holy Day preparation, I was intrigued; but even more so, I was drawn to the thought of starting anew.  As Reform Jews, going to the mikvah is not required of us, nor is it a ritual that is normally a part of our religious practice. According to Halacha, Jewish law, it has mainly been a ritual for Orthodox and Conservative Jews. But as I said, I was intrigued, and, since immersion is my thing, I went. Since then, I have gone yearly. It is a peaceful, calming, reflective, and restorative time for me. A time to look back with clear eyes, to look forward with hope, and to just be in the present…a time to make the transition from the old year to the new, a time to let go and move forward, and a time to embrace my life and all of its blessings. I marvel at how quickly and completely Temple Beth El has become one of those blessings. It is my place of worship, where I work, where my closest friends are, and my community, my family. I have only been here four years, but it seems as though I have always been right here. As I immersed myself in the mikvah yet again this week, I was reminded that I am exactly where I am meant to be. In the coming month, how will you immerse yourself in Temple Beth El and in your own life?