Praying at the Kotel

By Ale S., NFTY-EIE Fall 2013 Student

Ale Strauss2

I have been to the Kotel multiple times, but even though I’ve been a couple times, doesn’t mean I feel ‘normal’ being there. Every time I get to the area where the Wall is, I’m filled with excitement to keep going and not stop until I am right in front of it. Once I pass the two lions and start down the stairs that over look the Wall and Jerusalem, I’m filled with astonishment and wonder.

Passing through the gates to the Wall, I do nothing but look at it. How can something so old and so important to the Jewish people be right in front of me? Overwhelmingly tall, looking down upon the people praying, in a way, like God. Finally being at the Wall, my hands and forehead resting against it. To touch something so many other Jews from around the world have touched, to stand at the place that every Jew faces while praying, how could anyone get used to that or even find it ‘normal’? To be so far in the future, yet so close to the past, that is what makes going to the Kotel more then special, but life changing.

Ale Strauss1Walking towards the Wall I have the feelings I described before, but each time is still different; different people, time of year, beliefs and emotions. Last Friday I went to the Wall with people I had only spent a couple of days with and a belief in God. There are always strangers at the Kotel, but I’m always with someone I know, but not this time. And it really didn’t make that big of a difference. What made the difference was what we did, pray.

NEVER out of the million times I’ve been to the Wall have I ever prayed as a group next to the Wall. Not only was it an amazing/astonishing moment to pray next to the Wall, but the service was amazing and so different then what I’m used to. If every morning I could wake up and have a repeat of that service at the Wall I would, because I have never felt so close to God, the Jewish people and myself before. I have a very different outlook on praying and services then I have ever had before.

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