Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Kotel(The Last of Three Parts)

Click here to read Part One
Click here to read Part Two

I was so happy that the car was at home that I did not get upset at my wife for not calling me! I took her advice and started heading up towards the Dung Gate on the way to the Kotel. Then I remembered the security guard. I walked back down and informed the security guard that the auto was found and that everything was okay. He seemed genuinely happy for me now as he was genuinely concerned earlier.

Passing through the Dung Gate I saw an abundance of soldiers. The Givati brigade was going to hold a military ceremony near the Kotel in honor of the end of boot camp. These ceremonies are a real nuisance for the regular worshippers at the Kotel.

I went around the area cordoned off for the ceremony, washed my hands, and headed for the Kotel. On my right a bearded man dressed in white offered to bless the soldiers standing near him. The soldiers enthusiastically accepted his offer and answered "Amen" after his blessings. I headed inside the roofed area. I grabbed a chair, shtender, and tehillim and found a quiet place to sit under Wilson's Arch. I entered a different world where all mundane concerns are naught. Here near the Western Wall, the material world meets the spiritual. The words of David's Psalms start flowing. These Divinely inspired words are so special in that they reflect man's greatest sorrows and highest ambitions. The words keep flowing chapter after chapter. The pain of the destruction at the foot of the Temple Mount stand in sharp contrast to the great future that G-d has promised the Jewish People on top of the mountain. May our eyes merit to see it.

After finishing all the Psalms for the fifth day(i.e. Thursday), I left the Kotel. The military ceremony was in full swing. "Ani Nishba, Ani Nishba, Ani Nishba," shouted the soldiers, swearing to follow orders even unto death. Will these soldiers, so young, innocent, and beautiful, fulfill the Mitzvah of protecting the Land and the People, or will they be the tools of a tyrant to commit the grave sin of destroying Jewish communities in the Land of Israel?

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