It’s been a long time since I’ve celebrated Shabbat (sabbath) in the Old City. Well, it’s honestly been a long time since I’ve really celebrated Shabbat at all, but that’s for another post. There’s something so special about singing songs and saying prayers that are as old as the walls of the city itself. For thousands of years, these walls have stood (in some form or another) in the same spot, and I think “If these walls could talk…”
What is it about these walls that feel so comforting and familiar?
If you’ve ever been to the Western Wall (Kotel) itself, you’ll agree that there’s a familiarity there. Most people feel like they’ve been here before. Like they’ve come home. It’s said that every prayer in the world first needs to travel all the way to the Kotel before it ascends to G-d, and that’s why people feel so connected when they touch the wall and why it feels so familiar. Because your prayers have already been here. The walls already know your fears and desires, and when your body finally gets here for a little visit, the walls have been waiting for you.
It’s fascinating to connect the dots when I find out that something I’ve been feeling…a for-real feeling in my body…might have a for-real rationale. (Now, my work friends are reading this going, “THAT’S NOT SCIENCE!” Ok ok, settle down, settle down. I’m talking “feelings” here which don’t fall into our scope of practice, so, neener-neener to you😜). When I heard this theory of prayers having been here before, and that’s the reason this place feels so familiar, I got all choked up. And you all know (now) we don’t get choked up over anything. That choked-up feeling, remember, is a sign that something inside has been touched. Maybe this theory about prayers coming to Jerusalem is true, and maybe it’s not. But it feels true. And for someone who had stopped praying altogether because she thought her prayers weren’t being heard? I’ll take it.
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