Don't Wait Another 10 Years
The Evil Haman or the Bright Light

Confessions of the Mikva Attendant

The following letter is especially relevant to many people, so we decided to share it with you:

Dear Rabbi Brody,

A young woman was sitting in the waiting room of the mikva where I am balanit (attendant - LB) last week, and she had a MP3 player. When her turn came, I called her in, and we struck up a conversation (this was a new face to the mikva, and I do my best to make everyone feel comfortable). I asked her what she was listening to, and she said that she was listening to a lesson from an English-speaking rabbi in Israel about shalom bayit (peace in the home, or marital bliss - LB). I asked her then if there's anything new, or just the same old cliches that so many other people are tossing around. She then pulled the original CD out of her purse, and told me to take it, since she already had it copied onto her MP3. "See for yourself," she said. "Ever since my husband started listening to these CDs, he's been treating me like a princess, lavishing me with love, respect, and consideration..."

Rabbi, I took your CD home and listened to it. What you say in Respecting Your Wife is revolutionary. You could be saving thousands of broken marriages. Let me explain...

I'm the Wailing Wall for most of the women that come to the mikva. Many of them pour their hearts out to me, because they know that halacha (religious law) requires a balanit (mikva attendant - LB) to be ultra-discreet. Thank G-d, I also have a reputation for being very tight-lipped, so I enjoy the trust of the women in our community (and the trust of those that come here from outside the community, and there are many of them - because our mikva looks like a tropical garden with soft music, etc., so women love to come here). Without further digression, you should know that at least 50% of the women that speak to me are not satisfied with their marriages. They have melancholy eyes, and are not looking forward to going home from the mikva. It's a tragedy. I would venture to speculate that the percentage of unhappy wives among those that don't go to mikva is so much higher.

At any rate, I feel an obligation to pass the word about your teachings. I love the way that you keep them real and down to earth, practical and not pie in the sky theory. To be honest, there are no chassidim (except for the local Chabad house) in our area, and chassidic thought isn't exactly what you'd call popular around here. Breslev especially has a bad reputation for weirdos; yet, if the Breslev wives have husbands that live according to your audio teachings, then they can be laughing at the rest of us. I must confess that we have been shortchanging Rebbe Nachman for a long time. I also confess that I have frequently criticized the Breslevers for leaving their wives on Rosh Hashanna. Many of us have husbands who are physically at home, but their minds are millions of miles away. I guess that Uman for a few days a year is a better deal, especially if your husband is with you in heart and body for the rest of the year.

At any rate, when I heard your CD, I almost fainted. The label told me that you're a Breslever, associated with the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva and with the Breslev Israel website. I was so embarrassed. Even though I'm considered "tight-lipped" as I said, on numerous occasions in the past, I have been guilty of saying less than complimentary remarks about Rebbe Nachman and his followers. This has been total ignorance on my part.

I called a leading Breslever USA Rabbi on the phone, and asked him how I can repent for turning people off to Rebbe Nachman in the past. He said, "Simple - just turn them on to Rebbe Nachman's teachings in the future!" He was so nice and unjudgmental. When I read the articles on your website, I get the same impression from you too. Maybe that's why the Breslevers' wives are happy - their husbands are nice guys and unjudgmental.

Rabbi Brody, I can imagine how busy you are and I know I've run off at the keyboard. Yet, I feel that there's a message here for everybody - don't prejudge.

Please tell me if you can cut me a deal on my first 100 Arush-Brody CDs. I would be honored to distribute them in our area, because as far as I know, you don't yet have a distributor here. With sincere thanks, DB from the Midwest USA

* * *

100 CDs are already in the air and on their way to DB. I arranged for her to get them at a wholesale price. Not only will she be joining our Outreach team, but she'll be making a few extra dollars on the side too. If she helps just one couple have a happier marriage, then her rewards are unfathomable, in this world and in the next. And, if she helps save just one marriage, then it's as if she has saved an entire world.

No mitzva in the Torah brings dividends like the mitzva of Outreach. When you put a CD in someone's hands, you're task is just as important as my saying the lesson. You become a first-string player on our team, and bask in the glory of every victory, namely, bringing another soul closer to Hashem.

Quite a few people have invested maaser (tithe) money in Emuna Outreach books and CDs, and have seen tremendous blessings by distributing them in their neck of the woods. You can too!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.