A couple of months ago, at the ripe old age of twenty five plus, plus, plus, I finally made it to the Kotel.
It was a nice, clear night in Jerusalem with a magnificent moon and bright stars in the clear sky. The Plaza was not as crowded as it usually is, but still had some people posing for pictures. And here is was – the Wall that I have seen countless times before on the pictures, finally real, right in front of me.
As I slowly approached the ancient stones, there was no excitement – the same way there was no excitement when KGB called us late one evening and told us that we can leave USSR. That was not a “yippee” moment. And finally my hand was touching a cold, weathered stone. My throat closed, and for a while I could not say anything; I just stood there with tears running down my cheeks. And then I started praying – praying for my family, for our people, for the Holy Land, for my country....
And as I was wrapping up my conversation with The Heavenly Father, I realized something – this is not a wailing wall; this place is a testament of our survival and our eternal bond with Him. These stones, bleached by harsh sun, survived not only the destruction of the Temple, but the countless battles waged over this piece of land that so many conquerors wanted to claim for their own. And in the end it is ours. Ours to connect with The Creator and to try and remember who we truly are.