Saturday, June 22, 2013
“Next Year in Jerusalem”
There is no way to explain how important, the Kotel (Western Wall) and the city of Jerusalem are to the Jewish people. The connection the Jewish people share with the Holyland is that of a mother and child; unbreakable, innate, and unexplainable. But even the analogy of mother and child isn’t enough to explain our relationship with Jerusalem. It’s a beautiful, sacred, divine and everlasting relationship that maintains its strength through the millennia.
I’ve attended Hebrew school since I was two years old. And for every prayer we face east, the direction of Jerusalem. Every Pesach we recite “Next Year in Jerusalem” meaning that next year we will be in the land of Israel enjoying Jerusalem. After praying toward Jerusalem all year, there is no better feeling than being back in Jerusalem and feeling the energy of the Kotel.
Last night I visited the wall. The Kotel on Friday night is always crowed with locals, tourists, and people of every religion, color, and creed. Some people leaving notes in the wall, some people praying, and some people crying with joy that they receive by being in such an overwhelming situation. Every time I visit the wall, it’s like the first time and it is always a beautiful and spiritual experience.
Today I traveled around the old city of Jerusalem after meeting a Yeshiva student who offered to show me around. Because Jews are not supposed to work on Shabbat, we walked through the shops in the Arab and Christian Quarter. The diversity never seizes to amaze me. We walked by Jews, Arabs, Russians, Armenians, Ethiopians, Monks, and tourists from Asia, South America, Europe, Africa, and so on.
In America the historical landmarks never exceed three hundred years. In Jerusalem are buildings overs three thousand years old, built by my Jewish ancestors. And that is a beautiful thing. That is why I consider Israel my home.