Thursday, August 13, 2015

What Do You Do and Feel at Holy Places?

The first time I ever saw the Western Wall in Jerusalem, I was 16 years old, on a youth trip during the summer months, still mourning the sudden loss of my grandfather. He had promised to take me to Israel for the first time and here I was...in Israel without him.

We approached the Western Wall - it is a quite impressive site. It towers above you, golden, strong, ancient...and amazingly peaceful. As I sat on the side, almost afraid to approach the stones that have stood through the millennia, I started to cry.

I know that the Western Wall is also called the Wailing Wall and almost every time I am there, I find people crying, even sobbing. I can't say why I cried that first time or so many times since.

It is a place that reaches into your soul and pulls out your thoughts, your dreams, your sorrows. It heals, it cleanses, it touches. We celebrated each bar mitzvah there. Four out of times, I was there when I was pregnant; each of my three married children have gone there in the early morning of the day they were married. Shmulik had his first military ceremony there...and they handed him a Bible and a gun...each a part of what he was, what he was being asked to defend.

Not once in all the times that I have gone there, a place that is miraculously so close...I feel the place. It is holy.

What too few people understand, is that the Western Wall is holy because of what it is...it is all we have left. It is the retaining wall of the Temple Mount. There, high above, was where our Holy Temples were built...and destroyed.

Though the Temples aren't there now...the place remains the single holiest place in Judaism. Christianity recognized the Temple Mount as holy, as does Islam. As has happened all over Israel, over our holy places, they built theirs. They did this in Hebron, Nablus, Jerusalem, and countless other places. It is their way of conquering, of declaring their supposed superiority, of erasing the past that cannot be erased.

And how do they treat this place in the world we consider more holy than any other? They store weapons there, throw firebombs, play soccer, and throw garbage.

When people - Christians, Jews, even US Congressmen come up to honor the place, they are surrounded, harassed, screamed at.

When people enter a church or a synagogue, they do so with the understanding that they enter the House of God...only in a mosque do you hear of explosives stored, rocks piled, rockets massed. In a church or synagogue, people tend to watch their language, speak a bit more carefully. Here, at the holiest of places, Muslims riot, throw firebombs at police...one Muslim women even BIT a police officer. Have you ever played soccer in church, thrown garbage around a synagogue?

How you treat a place is clearly how you consider it. By this simple standard, the Moslems do not consider the Temple Mount anything but another potential battleground.

Here's a video showing the mess Muslims have made as a protest on the Temple Mount, throwing garbage, screaming...and more.

video







2 comments:

CDG, Yerushalayim, Eretz Yisrael Shlemah said...

Hi, Paula.

I'm glad you brought out that the Kotel is holy only because of what it used to support. I am praying that we get the courage, with haShem's help, to kick everyone out who doesn't respect Har haBayit and its associated areas.

Only when the world respects the Jew and understands that he is G-d's representative on earth, for real, will all the nations be able to gather to pray here, as it is written. Our government's insisting on letting them step all over us and what is valuable to us does not help.

Shabbat Re'eh shalom if you don't hear from me before then.

Chava

P.S. I have a new blog: Hava haAharona. Hope you enjoy it!

peter dominguez said...

For my self I feel an overwhelming sense of reverence and a certainty that I'm am on holy ground, as for the descendants of the wild man Geinisis 16:12 and a great nation Geinisis 21:18 I expect nothing different from them . I also believe that as long as there Mosc remains standing ther claim to Jerusalem is valid.

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