Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Nissan 5765 - April 20, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

Reflections at the Kosel
By Rosally Saltsman

A Friday morning found me sitting in the early morning sunlight on a perfect spring morning at the Kosel. It was a friend's son's Bar Mitzvah and we were there to celebrate. A friend had given me a note to place in the cracks between the stones. For some reason, I don't do this for myself. The plaza was not crowded and I easily wended my way to the Wall, gingerly tucked the note in between the stones and returned to my place.

I sat, dividing my attention between the proceedings on the other side of the mechitza, my prayers and exchanging mazel tovs. In between, I voiced my supplications for me and my friends. I reflected that being at the Kosel, now was a good time for any and all heartfelt pleas. Now was the golden opportunity to ask for a new job to replace the one I had recently lost; to beseech Hashem for the money to finally pay off my many debts; to perhaps approach Him for the husband all my friends seem to feel I'm lackingå But my heart wasn't in it.

Here I was on a perfect Israeli morning sitting but a few meters from the Kosel. I was celebrating the simcha of a friend. My wonderful son was on the other side of the mechitza, crowned in his tefillin only a few months after celebrating his own Bar Mitzvah at the Kosel. The air around me was suffused, as it always is, with sanctity and tranquility. The scent of the pure morning air was cool and fresh. I couldn't possibly feel miserable when I was feeling so peaceful and privileged.

I've lost track of how many dozens of times I've visited the holiest site in the world, with little more than an hour's travel, over the last few years. Somehow, this time, I didn't feel I had anything to ask for. Like Yaakov Ovinu, I felt, at that moment, like I had everything. I couldn't help noticing a lack of my usual anxiety; there I sat, just appreciatively, basked in the calm, feeling as I sat there, a link in the endless chain of my people, a colorful, ceramic piece in its mosaic; all of my usual problems seemed so inconsequential and ephemeral.

Motzaei Shabbos and I'm back at home. The Shabbos Bar Mitzvah was very pleasant, relaxing and joyful! Now, once again, the "real" world comes back into focus and my problems intrude on my serenity. A remnant of holiness and tranquility lingers with me, a vestige of my visit to the Kosel.

How blessed I am that I can so easily attach myself to the eternal, to the transcendent. Over the millennia, the stones of the Kosel have been the object of every Jew's greatest heart's desire, longing and yearning . And they are so close, literally at my fingertips, to greet me whenever I like. It is hard to ask for more.

When I go to the Kosel, I can pour out my heart for everything I lack. But I also can look around and realize how much I am blessed and that in reality, Baruch Hashem, I lack for nothing.


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