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Come to the Kotel

סיון ושרה משדרות בהפרשת חלה בכותל
שרה, תושבת שדרות, בהפרשת חלה באירוע הסיום במנהרות הכותל

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])

These days, we hear so many tips for coping and here’s one more: Come to the Kotel (Western Wall). Just come. Yesterday I saw how much this does for people.

Every week hundreds of women from the Women’s Renewal community meet on Zoom to study together, but yesterday we met in person at the the Kotel. Most of them came for the first time since the war began. “How could it be that I wasn’t here until now,” a woman from Kiryat Shmona confided. “I have just been strengthened here to return to our temporary apartment home.”

A short time before our arrival, Golani soldiers who had been on Har Dov on the northern border for many days came to give thanks and to pray. Moments earlier, soldiers from the Machane Shura army base and Zaka had come after days and nights of difficult work identifying bodies of the fallen. Several days ago, family members of the hostages had led 50 thousand people in prayers at the Kotel. Nearly every day, a different group arrives — survivors of the Nova festival, evacuees from the south and the north, wives of those serving in the reserve forces.

During our meeting, a woman approached me and Racheli Hadad, supervisor of tours at the Kotel, and told us she had arrived from Spain. A Jewish woman from Spain who simply felt a need to be at the Kotel at this time bought a plane ticket and came.

Soli Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, related that five youths suffering from trauma recently came with their mentor and, for the first time, found an outlet for their feelings standing opposite the Kotel’s ancient stones. “There is something in Jerusalem that soothes and heals,” he said, “that connects us to the meaning of what we are doing now and of everything that is happening. It’s not by chance that so many psalms describe going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. If only like the pilgrims of old we will soon ascend to Jerusalem with great joy.”

Amen and may we all hear good news.


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