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Talking to the Wall

There are countless jokes about someone pleading with a person, receiving no results and lamenting, “It’s like talking to a wall.”

The expression, of course, dates back 2,000 years (the jokes are a lot newer). For countless years, Jews have been praying towards what is known as the “Western Wall”, the “Wailing Wall” or in Hebrew, the “Kotel”.

Immediately after the U.N. declared Israel an independent state in 1948, Israel was attacked by five invading armies in what was called the War of Independence. In a stunning display of determination and ingenuity, after countless fatalities on all sides, the fledging Jewish nation was victorious. But the “Wall” was captured by the Jordanians and after more than 1,900 years of free access by members of all religions, the Western Wall found itself behind barbed wire, inaccessible to all except those who sought to disgrace it by turning it into a garbage dump.

Only in 1967 was the Wall returned to Jewish hands where it has since become the foremost center of attention in the world.

People by the thousands, not hundreds, come every day to see it, marvel at the mighty stones that enveloped some unknown, long-ago structure and to pray there. They come from all walks of life, from virtually every country on earth to see the famous wall that has been the yearning of the Jewish people for 2,000 years.

But why pray there?  Aren’t people just “talking to the Wall?” Not if you ask them.  There is a special feeling, a feeling of closeness to a Super Being, a spiritual, emotional feeling that elevates the soul when it bonds with its Source. It leaves a lifetime impression on people of all religions when they come to pray at that one, special location.

Does Gd exist or not? For those who come to the Wall to pour out their hearts and walk away knowing that their prayers have been answered, perhaps with a “yes” perhaps with a “no”, you will never convince them otherwise.

But for those who refuse to consider that there is a Higher Power watching over us and hearing our prayers, well for them, it’s like talking to a wall.

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by   Max Anteby

Comments icon March 28, 2012


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