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Every Wedding Night

I wanted to write about this topic for a long time. Mikvah is something that we can all relate to as a Jewish women and it is a topic that is often discussed between us. There was a recent thread on the forum, “Is your wedding night really that hard?“, that got me thinking and I decided to scratch my other notes on Mikvah and write this one. An anonymous poster wrote that the “wedding night is supposed to be the best night of your life”. It does not matter in what context it was written in, although I am sure you all know (or you can go read). But that sentence really got me thinking.


Every observant Jewish woman knows about Niddah. She knows that there will be times as a wife that she will not be able to be affectionate toward her husband. She will not be able to kiss him, hug him, or even pass him a plate of food. Forget about being intimate. Sometimes it will last two weeks, other times, three, and at times, like post partum, about six to ten weeks. It is hard. No one would deny that. You love the person you are living with, yet you cannot physically express it.

After the bleeding, there is a process. There is the checking, the 7 clean days, the preparing for the Mikvah and finally, the dipping. Mikvah. You prepare for 7 days for 3 (or in some cases 1, 2 or 9) dips in holy water. There are many reasons why the water is holy and special, but the main reason being, is that it makes you Tahor, spiritually pure. This water that covers your body from head to toe, renders you Halachically permissible for your husband.

There is that feeling of euphoria as you walk out of the Mikvah. Bag in hand, spotlessly clean, fresh makeup, and in some cases, wet hair. You have to talk to your feet to walk and not run as you make your way home so that you do not get hurt on the way. And whether or not you actually get to see your husband right away or two hours later, you run into each other’s arms and that feeling is exhilarating. No one can deny it. However tired, moody or stressed you are, your husband’s arm around your waist melts everything around you and all you want is him. Suddenly, you can have each other again, romantically. You can pass him a cup of water after two weeks of not being allowed to. Suddenly, the most mundane little action seems like the only thing you want to do. Kissing and hugging and finally, being intimate.

So is that not really the best night of your life?

Of course your life is so long Baruch Hashem, and you have many many best nights. Your wedding is a fabulous, fun night. The night your child is born, the night you go on an amazing date to the Eiffel Towers, the night your child comes home from school with top grades…and Mikvah night.

I am sure many of you will agree that the more you get to know your husband, the more you live with him and spend time with him, there is more to love and more to cherish. No one can disagree that however long you dated, however long you spoke and touched and kissed when you were engaged, the longer you are married, the more real your love gets for him.

A psychologist by the name of Elaine Hatfield said there are two kinds of love – passionate and compassionate. Passionate is that burning crazy fiery feeling of lust, longing, attraction and desire. Eventually that leads to compassionate love. The kind where you have a mutual feeling of respect and understanding for each other, inner and deep feelings of wanting to protect and care for one another.

The longer you are married, the longer you are together, the more compassionate you will get, the more real your love is…a deep down carved-on-your-heart feeling of love. And who can say that making love to your husband, compassionate, honest, attracting real caring love, after two weeks of being apart, is not going to be the best night of your life?

As Jewish women, we get that every month, assuming you have an average cycle. Look at the rate of divorce and separation in the secular world, and their excuses “we got bored”, “he forgot about me”, “she found someone else”. We (usually) cannot say that. Of course there is divorce, but these are hardly ever the reasons. We cannot get bored. G-d made sure of that. He made sure that once a month, a Jewish man and woman will have their real wedding night all over again.

So yes, I guess I am saying that the wedding night is the best night of your life, but not the one where you are all dressed up in a white gown. It’s the one where you count down the days, go to the Mikvah, and then come home to your husband – to hold and to love.

Authors note: there may be women whom this article is not applicable to for various reasons. Please do not take this blogpost personally if it doesn’t apply to you. Thank you!

Photo by Rivka Bauman Photography

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Post Wedding Bliss

Two nights ago I had my brother in law’s wedding.  It was beautiful, emotional (he is the youngest) and as usual, long.

We came home at 4am and we did not head to bed but rather, we sat at the kitchen table to nosh…and talk. I always get jealous of newly married couples. The newness, the shyness, the freshness, and the excitement of everything and of course, all the attention – I miss it. I also cannot stop noticing what they have or do and what we did not have or do as newly weds.

Now let me tell you, my newlywed stage was bliss. We got married in my small hometown; the wedding was gorgeous and fun and did not end in the early morning hours, rather at an hour in the evening when we could all still get some sleep.

We spent hours talking in bed that night as did we the next night and the next and the next. We looked at each other sweetly, went on long walks together and visited family like a real good couple. We did not eat at Sheva Brachot but instead, ate cookies late at night when we got home. Yet there is still something that I am jealous of. I have not forgotten and I never will, those first few months. But I do not have the new fresh feeling anymore and I miss that… I want that.

Thank G-D, my married life is amazing. We know each other, we have a baby, we have fun, we argue and we go on trips. We are a family now. But I still miss that first stage.

It is funny though, seeing how happy my brother in-law is, smiling at his new wife, whispering to her and winking at her. I suddenly forget that we still do that now, forget how when I saw my husband walking into the dinner at the wedding, I still felt that way! Reminiscing that amongst all the fun, all the happiness and excitement, I was still feeling miserable.

As a newly wed, I missed being with my family all day. They were having fun and I was stuck, alone with my husband. I was nervous and shy. I had talked to him for four months and suddenly, he was using my bathroom, we were sharing closets, and he was eating breakfast with me. I was constantly worried that there would be awkward silences, and being nervous that married life would be too hard for me to deal with.

When my husband got sick three weeks after we got married, a minor upset stomach, it sent me into huge bouts of tears while sitting in my parent’s house. As I cried for 45 minutes, he sat in the other room feeling sick and worried what was wrong with his new wife.

When we moved to America, I called my father and said that I want to consider leaving him because I cannot deal with all the new things, the new house, a new city, a whole new family and a new best friend.

I was always embarrassed to tell him things, ask him stuff and suggest things. I worried myself sick if my food was good; if I looked okay for him and if he loved me, even though I was making him crazy. Over time of course, life got easier, I settled and marriage showed me its good sides (as I did to my husband!).

So I tell myself when I see a couple, be jealous, be wishful, be angry that you no longer have all that. BUT be happy, be thankful and be grateful that you are over that stage too.  You got through the phase and you came out on the other side, a better couple, a happier couple and an in-love couple. Marriage has its ups and its downs, its hard stages and its easy stages, its highs and its lows, its happiness and its sadness. So when we are down, we remember it all, and I tell my husband that as much as we are jealous, they just may be jealous of us too.


Photograph by Rivka Bauman Photography