Vox Tablet

Bathe in the Waters

A radio documentary asks: Is there a way for women to dunk ritually that doesn’t conflict with their feminism?

March 2, 2016

Traditionally, Orthodox Jews submerge themselves in mikvehs—ritual baths—to purify themselves. Producer Hannah Reich has always been drawn to water—to rivers, oceans, pools—and was fascinated by the idea that ritual submersion sanctifies the sexual relationship between a man and a woman. At the same time, though, she was conflicted over how such an act can be reconciled with feminism and acceptance of the body as is.

Through mikveh visits and in conversations with the ‘Mikvah Lady’ of Melbourne, the first female rabbi in the Southern Hemisphere, and other Jewish women, she explores these questions in “Immersion.” This documentary first aired on the program Earshot from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Produced by Hannah Reich, with supervising producer Natalie Kestecher and sound engineer John Jacobs, and with special thanks to Ari Perlow and Paul Penton.

Vox Tablet is Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast, hosted by Sara Ivry and produced by Julie Subrin. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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