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
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.