On the roof of the Aish center looking down at the Western Wall with Chevra & Davai in 2011

Search This Blog

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy or Sad… a Kotel Story

Last week, I arrived at the kotel for the first time in three years.  A few days latter, I came back with a Rabbi/friend of mine and he taught me an interesting Halacha (Jewish law).  He said when one visits the kotel for the first time or after a period of bring away from it, he should tear his clothes as a sign of mourning.  Typically, tearing ones clothes is reserved for the intense mourning period that we go though when we experience the passing of a close relative.

In the same fashion, we should tear our clothes when we arrive at the kotel, because we should mourn the loss of the holy Temple to the same decree that we mourn the loss of a parent, spouse, child, etc.  Even though, I recognize the Halacha as valid and see the point, it just doesn't sit well with me.  At the kotel, G-d's presence can be felt in a more intense way than any other place on earth.  At the Kotel, my learning is better & by prayers are more intense.  Since I feel the heightened sense of G-dliness, it just doesn't feel right to be sad about arriving there.

On the other hand, things clearly aren't right.  The Temple Mount is inhabited by a people that hates us and our temple has yet to be rebuilt.  The fact that the news broke that the bodies if the 3 missing innocent Jewish boys, whose memories should be for a blessing, who had been kidnapped several weeks ago had been discovered is as much proof as one needs to know that things aren't even close to the way they should be.

If we can't be happy, and we can't mourn, what are we supposed to do?

We cry.

Crying is the only human reaction that can represent both extreme joy & sorrow, possibly even at the same time.  At the Kotel, We cry because we love G-d and are happy to return to such a holy place.  We also cry over all the blood that paved he way for our return and continues to pave the way for us to remain there.  We cry for the ones we have lost and we cry for the ones that we still have.

No comments:

Post a Comment