Any time is a good time for children to draw a picture of the
Kosel. Now, especially, in this Three Week mourning season,
the Kosel takes on added significance.
Give a child a set of crayons and ask him to draw a picture
of the Kosel. He will know exactly what to do. Little Avi
drew squares that resembled large stones or stones that are
designed from squares, depending on how one sees it. The
visual makeup of the Kosel Wall is very simple, geometrically
full of squares and built in a manner like building blocks to
the eye of a child. He drew them one on top of another high
up on the page. He covered the whole page of paper with
squares, gave it to his mother and said, "I drew this. It is
His sister, Chani, included a soft blue sky hovering across
the top of the wall. Shuli's sky was a dense thick blue strip
that looked like it was holding up the wall. A sun beamed
from its corner, shining up the surface of the smooth ancient
stones. Children are well known for putting the sun in the
corner of the page. This notion of a partial sun fits in well
with the halocha of not drawing a complete sun, moon
or stars. Young children seem to do this automatically.
Another version of the Kosel will be a wide lens view of the
plaza showing people praying against the backdrop of massive
boulders. Men and women, separated by a mechitza,
stand facing the wall in prayer and introspection beseeching
Hashem. The men are seen draped in white cloth
talleisim with a hint of back and white strips. The
women are seen in a colorful array of clothing and head
coverings, pouring out their heartfelt prayers. There are
flocks of school children with their teachers gathered before
the holy wall.
It is hard to say exactly what the color of the ancient
stones are. We know that stones are not solid brown. How do
you suggest the color of stones to a child? The color seems
to defy definition. If we think about it, we notice that the
time of the day affects the light on the color of the stones.
New notions of color can be perceived along with the changing
light and shadows. This is similar in variety to the changes
in the sky on the horizon between the hours of sunrise and
sunset. The stones are hedged and burnished with pale tones
of dusty cream, orange, brown, rose, bone white or chalk
white. Nevertheless, to little Avi, brown makes a good
definition of a stone. The stones will be colored in loosely
or with a heavy pressure very solidly. After a few touches of
green bushes sprouting from the spaces between the boulders
and a few final lines dragged across the stones, Avi's wall
[If you've noticed, the Kosel is never without its birds,
specifically a white pigeon. Tradition has it that the white
pigeon symbolizes the Shechina, which never leaves the site
of the Mikdosh, but hovers protectingly over it. The children
may wish to color some birds in as well. Others may wish to
include small wisps of white to indicate the many notes
wedged in between the stones.]
Along with the massive Kosel Wall that children naturally
depict, suggest including any of the following scenes as
described to us by Yehuda Hemmel, who was a guard at the
Kosel for eleven years.
How Do You Show Kedusha in a Drawing?
Guarding the sanctity of the Kosel is a multifacted job.
There is security guarding, maintaining the proper respect
for the holy site and there is instructing. "On the Shabbos
shift, I felt like a maggid shiur speaking to the
tourists about the thirty-nine melochos. I explained
to people why not to take photos or write notes to put in the
Wall and why they could not light a fire." He pointed to a
sign that read, "Obey the guards and do what they say."
"People need the Kosel. It is a place to give vent to one's
emotions. There is an unpsoken understanding of the sanctity
DRAW GROUPS OF MINYONIM
"Early every day, people came on foot, in taxis or in private
cars beginning at 4:00 a.m. for mishnayos and
Tehillim before the first minyon. They would
check their watches for the exact moment of netz,
sunrise, and then the first minyonim would begin.
"The Sefardim and Ashkenazim stand crowded together but they
stand with reverence and deveikus. There is a mutual
understanding that we are all here to pray for our brethren
everywhere, for health, peace and our sustenance. It is a
very enlightening, uplifting experience. The minyonim
got along fine and had mutual respect for each other,
especially during the reading of the Torah."
DRAW PEOPLE DAVENING AT NIGHT
"People are at the Kosel at all hours. There is tikun
chatzos from twelve midnight till three in the morning. A
nucleus of five or ten people can always be seen. There are
also groups of tourists at one or two in the morning."
DRAW PEOPLE OF ALL AGES INCLUDING THE VERY OLD AND SICK
"There was a ninety-five-year-old man who came by bus for
mincha and maariv for ten years. His son
continued bringing him later when he was in a wheelchair.
Nothing stopped him until his last days when he passed
DRAW A BAR MITZVA
"We had as many as ten or twenty bar mitzvas at sunrise at
one time. If the visiting party from abroad didn't hire
someone in advance, the people davening were always happy to
DRAW PEOPLE COLLECTING AND PEOPLE GIVING TZEDOKA
"There were those who were `professional' givers of
tzedoka. A man would come and hand out dollar bills to
inspire and reward children and adults for davening at
the Kosel. They knew how to give and how to keep order."
There was the mitzva chain reaction. "A traveler would
come from far across the ocean and give a dollar to a beggar
who sits in his usual place, day in and day out. The beggar
gave him a blessing in Hebrew, in return. Whose was the
However a child portrays the Kosel, it will be a lovely poem
in a picture that says what is important to him/her about our
[Ed. Notes: Alternate types of drawings: Have the child
make a sequential `comic strip' drawing with bubbles for
speech. Have him record conversations between people,
impressions of a first-time visit. Secular people trying to
pray for the first time. Someone praying for a sick relative.
Someone giving thanks to Hashem.
Tell your children about people who do Kiruv at the Kosel,
like the famous R' Meir Shuster, and others. How would they
Create a KOSEL SCRAPBOOK with all kinds of Kosel pictures, at
different times of the day, different seasons, like on
Succos, Tisha B'Av, Rosh Hashona, Bircas Kohanim, Chanuka.
Early Shavuos morning, or Motzaei Shavuos --- when Yeshivas
Kol Torah comes to dance and forms a huge circle including
all the men, all types of men.]
TO BEGIN, YOU WILL NEED
Two pieces of drawing paper; pencil, eraser.
Oil pastels, colored pencils or markers.
Sketch out an idea of what you want to draw. Consider:
people, sky, the plaza, the bushes, light, special
Optional: practice what is difficult to draw, scenes
Draw the Kosel stones very lightly.
Draw people and the other things you want to show very
Erase unwanted lines.
Darken light lines by drawing over them once again.
Color in carefully, trying to stay inside the lines. How?
Outline each shape or object in its main color first before
filling in color. Example: Outline the bushes in green and
then fill in green.
TIP -- Use small drawing tools (colored pencils, fine tip
markers etc.) in small places.
Use wider tips (oil pastels, crayons etc.) in larger
Use two, three or four colors for each stone or other
STONES: beige, orange, white and brown.
Cream, white and brown.
Pink (or red), orange, white and brown.
SKY: Light blue, dark blue and white.
BUSHES: Leaves -- light green, dark green and yellow.
Branches -- light brown, dark brown, beige and ochre