A new mikveh recently opened near my house.
You enter through a long, covered walkway. The walkway is unsightly on the outside and caused quite a bit of controversy because the proper municipal approval hadn’t been obtained. It turned out that the walkway blocks the view from someone’s front window. Considering how much money must have already been “sunk” into this mikveh, I can only imagine that the apartment owners were somehow compensated, and the matter died down.
You already get a hint of grandeur inside the walkway, which is decorated with rocks and plants; there is even is a fishpond.
This time the balanit told that I was going to be “mitpaneket” (spoiled), and led me to the bride’s room.
Here is the best shot I could get of the small preparation room. The translucent glass doors allow sound to come through. But the other mikveh has an inefficient air-conditioning system causing unbearable noise in the summer.
I haven’t figured out yet what made this room so special that it is reserved for brides. Every preparation room has the same elaborate fixtures. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen any brides at the new mikveh yet. It’s probably because in the other mikveh, brides (and anyone who is willing to pay extra) get a large room with the mikveh (immersion pool) right inside. Here there are only two mikvaot and five separate preparation rooms.
After you are finished, you push a button on the wall to notify the balanit (mikveh attendant). It looks just like a light-switch, so it took me a while to figure out what to do. Immediately the sound of an electronic version of Mozart’s 40th began blaring. (I had to hum that one for my husband in order to identify it for you. He’s the music expert around here.) In the other mikveh, you push a buzzer which sounds briefly and turns on a light on a central board with your room number. Here, the balanit tells you to turn off the music yourself before everyone goes insane.
For the record, this mikveh is supervised by the local religious authority and costs the same as every other mikveh in town- NIS 15 (about $4).