The plan was to road trip to the closest big city, spend a long afternoon at the zoo, have dinner with friends from Sem and then attend a Baptism/Mikvah with a Messianic congregation.
What happened was that paperwork, bank visits and construction demands consumed a much greater part of the day than planned and road tripping to closest big city didn't get underway until mid-afternoon. The zoo, as well as dinner, were post-poned. Lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued.
But then; picnics for dinner, tablecloths spread, quiet conversation.
Then Rebe went through the protocol for the evening and those getting baptized gave their testimonies; challenges spoken about, the need for renewal and re-commitment and the desire for baptism as believers rather than as expected ritual. Very sweet.
The 10 getting Baptised went into the water, tepid and calm. Rebe gave a blessing and then each person chose to go under 1, 3 or 7 times (7 times for completion, or for some, Naman's healing).
Then the remainder of the assembled came in for a group mikvah. 7 times in honor of the congregations Bar Mitvah.
The Shofar blew. Mazaltov! Exuberant faces.
Women chatting and laughing in the small park bathroom as they changed from wet to dry, from old to new, erupting into song. Community and connection to something deep and rooted, beyond each one. The congregation strengthened by shared refreshment. Joy unspeakable.