Resources for Mikveh Attendants
9 June, 2015
I recently became a Balanit, or mikvah attendant, in our local mikvah.
We are located in a small community. At the present time we don't have a Rabbi in our community. We have a few women here that visit the mikvah monthly, and women are starting to come from farther away.
I would like to know if there are any courses online or any books in English that I can study how to be a perfect Balanit.
Thank you very much!
We commend your dedication to the community and your interest in deepening your knowledge as you take on this new role.
Unfortunately, we are not aware of any on-line course or book that would provide balanit training. There is an Israeli organization called the Eden Center does provide live courses and perhaps they would have some materials for you: www.theedencenter.com
Classic books such as Waters of Eden and Total Immersion may also help to inform and inspire you. We also recommend that you review the laws of niddah, as by taking our online refresher course "Marriage Companion", emphasizing topics related to immersion. Keep in mind that the balanit's main halachic role is to ensure that all of a woman's hair is submerged when she immerses.
Aside from study, it is important that you do your utmost to protect the privacy of the women who come to the mikveh, as by turning around from the time when a woman begins to remove her towel until she tells you she is in the water. Ask permission before providing any service. Most important, try to be sensitive to the fact that different women have different feelings and needs regarding the laws of niddah, fertility, their bodies, and marriage, all of which can affect what they seek in a mikveh experience.
Please don't hesitate to be in touch with us as you continue in this important work.
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