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Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Last week I took a different route to the Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem old age home where my friend has been living this past decade.  We used to live in Bayit Vegan and saw the Shalom Hotel going up from our apartment on Rechov Bayit Vegan.  I haven't been back to that building, but last week I walked from Sha'are Tzedek to my friend's apartment on Rechov Uziel.

The first building there, which now looks absolutely awful is a building I used to visit.

That's where the mikvah (ritual bath) was.  Even then in the early to late 1970's when they built a new fancier and more modern one on Rechov Sha'arei Torah (is my memory correct?) the building wasn't kept up. There was an old lady who ran the mikvah on her own.  I don't think she ever smiled. We'd wait in a small crowded waiting room until there was a bath free.  It was the type of place we'd rush through preparations in order to leave as quickly as possible.

I remember the lines and wait at the new one being much longer.  After moving to Shiloh, I once had to "dunk" there before a wedding, and it took absolutely ages.

My only good memory of going to that old mikvah was that on the way I'd pass some fragrant bushes. The flowers put me in just the right mood and helped make up for the unpleasant old mikvah.

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