A Holy Land Journal: “Twice to the Wall on Shabat”

“Twice to the Wall on Shabat”

Prayer
Wailing Wall
Mortared with Intercessions
“Next Year in Jerusalem”
Shalom

I came to the Holy Land to find myself instead, I found a Wall …
the Wall that has seen 3000 years of civilization …
King Solomon
& lowly slaves pulling giant limestone blocks into place,

Orthodox Jews & Byzantine Christians,
Ottoman Moslems & Armenians
Hasidim & Presbyterians.

Over the years the Wall has been …
shown off as a great feat, scorned,
knocked down & built back up
again & again & again.

The Wall has been prayed on, prayed over, and prayed through.
Even more, the Wall has prayed.

It has absorbed the prayers…
blood, sweat, & tears…
joys…
silences…
and so much more
from generation to generation.

When God’s people were kept from the Wall,

the Wall heard their silence and their absence …
and kept them present

I came to the Wall as a Pilgrim
curious, moved, anxious,

but mostly in that confused state we call
AWE.

I tried to pray;

I said some prayers …
but my tongue turned to ashes
and the words would not come.
I sat in silence and gave my heart to God …
but my heart turned to stone.
I wanted something to happen
but no thing happened.

And still,

in my silence,
in my aloneness,

in the chill of the evening air,
the coldness of the Stone touched me
and the Wall prayed me.

I looked up …

in the cracks and clefts of the wall all around me
were the prayers of thousands of pray-ers…
small pieces of paper, rolled tightly, placed lovingly,
intercessions…

but, above me all over the face of the Wall…
another kind of life
growing in the cracks and clefts… green
the color of God’s creation bursting forth all around me
and over me a canopy of protection…
a bush growing out of the wall.

The Wall breathes life!

The Wall breathes life into me!
The Wall breathes me!

And in that sense that is true throughout all creation
The Wall is me.
Having embraced me and adopted me as its own,
The Wall breathes life.

And, as the Wall breathes I, too, breathe life.
L’ Chaim, Old Friend, L’ Chaim!

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