Friday, September 16, 2011

The Second Visit

How many times during my Tefilos did I close my eyes really tight, block out all the noise, place my hands in the air in front of me, and envision myself in front of the Kotel? Countless times, if I even tried keeping track. Finally, after months, and years of waiting, I made it there. I won't tell you about my first visit- the rush and chaos of trying to get over 100 girls to tear kriah, say a few words of Tefilla, and move along, all in the midst of tour groups, an army ceremony and the regular Wall visitors, all the while, I was on the phone trying to coordinate with my cousin how to get me my linen...
My second visit... that was glorious. After a rather unrestful night, me and three friends hopped into a monitto the Kotel at around 6 in the morning. We got there as the sun was coming up. The Kotel square was mostly clear and we were able to go right up next to the wall. In just a few moments, the words of Shacharis came pouring forth... I felt like there weren't enough words in Tefilla to encompass all the things I felt at that moment, all the words I wanted to say... the connection I wanted to make. I placed my hands on the smooth stones -- a shock, because I thought they would be rough... only to realize that the rain and tears must have smoothed them-- and just... breathed. I looked up towards the top of the wall. I felt so small, yet so important. After I finished Shacharis, I wasn't done. My heart was beating so fast... I just had to keep talking to Hashem. I started saying Tehillem.... After several Kapitlach, I felt mildly satiated... The desire, the burning desire to say more, to build the connection was cooled, albeit momentarily until my next visit. After years of waiting, I finally understood the connection and desire that others felt and yearned for. Women kept coming up next to me, rushed and excited, sobbing. They would kiss the stones, let their tears fall, say a few words of Tefilla and hurry off... They are so safe in their connection that a few moments is all they need...
Being here less than two weeks, my mind has been spinning with images and words. The stories and lives that walk the streets... it makes me feel even smaller.... But if feeling small means living in this gorgeous land, it's worth it.

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