Life is, if you are blessed, filled with first time experiences. How many do you remember?
I remember my first day of school. I think I remember the first time I saw my younger brother. I remember the first time I rode a bike, the first time I saw my husband. I remember the first time I held each of my children; the first time I saw my grandson and granddaughter.
I remember the moment I saw my future husband walking towards me at the wedding, the first moment, he touched my hand afterwards. I remember the first time I saw my future in-laws. I remember the first time I landed in Israel and the first time I saw the Western Wall.
I was with two friends. I was 16 years old. I was still mourning my grandfather, who had promised to take me to Israel, and then died of a sudden heart attack shortly after. I looked at the Western Wall, known in Hebrew as the Kotel and often referred to as the Wailing Wall...and I started to cry. I didn't even know why I was crying, but I cried and cried and when I first touched it. I stood there and gave Israel my heart. I left the country a few weeks later, in tears, in sadness and left my heart here, or at least a part of it. I only reclaimed that part 17 years later when I moved here with my husband and three small children.
I have no pictures of that first moment, no video. I don't know what expression was on my face but I remember the awe, the beauty of the place. I felt...home, serenity as I had never known it. I knew, as I had never known before, that here, God hears everything, every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month, year, decade, century...
I knew it then, I know it now. I felt it then, I feel it now. I go often to the Kotel, and never often enough. I can go there on my way home from shopping (as I have). I can go there on a whim by getting off the train and walking 15 minutes - as I have.
Do you remember the first time? Look at this amazing video - I will admit that there were tears in my eyes within the first 57 seconds.