Day 7 cont. (Wailing Wall)

After the Hezekiah Tunnel experience we moved on and headed towards the Western wall, otherwise known as the wailing wall. The wailing wall is one of the most sacred sites in Jerusalem. Perhaps the only site considered more Holy would be the Temple Mount itself. At this wall Orthodox Jews and Christians come with their prayers and pray to their God. Muslims do not pray at the Western Wall. Muslims pray in the Temple Mount or at the Dome of the Rock or other Mosques.

The wall in the center of this picture is the Western Wall. There are two divided sections. The left for the men and the right for the women. It was only in 1967 that the Jewish people were allowed to come to the Western Wall to offer their prayers. In the early 20th century there was tension between the Orthodox Jews and the Muslims in regards to this wall. This wall was a place of Pilgrimage and the Muslims felt as if the Orthodox Jews were using the wall to further their advancement of influence in the Temple Mount itself. The Muslims feared the Zionist movement. As a result of this, fighting broke out. In 1948 when Israel was declared a State the muslims had control of the Western Wall and no Orthodox Jews were allowed to pray at this sacred place for 19 years. Then in 1967 with the result of the 6 day war the Jewish state regained control and Orthodox Jews were then allowed once again to pray at this sacred site.

I received the opportunity to personally experience praying at the Western Wall. While my theology and understanding of the New Testament proves God is everywhere and that a prayer in New York City is as valuable as a Pray at the Western Wall, I decided to go ahead a pray at this ancient wall. I walked up to the left side where the men pray, received a yamaka (it is mandatory to cover your head and if you don’t it is deemed very disrespectful) and walked up to the wall. I waited for a couple minutes before going up, just to contemplate what I was doing and understand my position. I proceeded toward the middle part of the wall and put my hand on the wall. Right away I felt the Holy Spirit and instead of praying I was simply silent. Not only was my mouth silent but my mind was silent. I stood with my hand on the wall for a couple minutes in silent reverence. Then I began to pray. I did not ask God for things. I ask God for his will to be done, to give me strength, not to give me what I do not need, and not to give me what I think I may need but to give me what I truly need. I reflected on my life so far. A life of comfort. A life of acceptance. A life of joy. I have not fought in a war, I have not lost a family member and I have not experienced horrific events in my life. I am truly blessed. To ask for some sort of blessing before recognizing my current blessings would be arrogant. Ironically, while I thought praying at this wall would be no different than praying in my bedroom it held its significance. Due to its historical nature, I was challenged to examine my prayer. I hope to continue this tradition every time I pray.

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