Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Today It's All About The Wall

Where were you 50 years ago today? Perhaps you weren't born yet or were too young to remember. But if you were old enough to understand anything much, you probably have some recollection...

Avraham Schechter remembers.
He was one of the first chayalim (Israeli soldiers) to enter the Old City of Jerusalem after its liberation. In a recent telephone interview, Avraham - now 70 years old - passionately described his emotions as he stood at The Wall that very first time. The Wall which he had only heard about from his father and older brother (who were able to go there before it was taken from us in 1948). The Wall which he had longed to experience for himself. Avraham vividly remembers - and will never forget - the magic of that moment.

I remember.
I was nine years old as I sat in the auditorium of my elementary school with my fellow fourth graders as our principal explained what would soon become known for all time as the Six Day War. He led us in prayer for the safety of our brethren in Israel. I couldn't quite grasp the details of what was going on but I thought about my aunt, uncle and cousins who lived there. And I knew this was big. Really big. When I Remember Jerusalem, that memory is my very first.

At age 18, I took my first trip to Israel - and to The Wall. I prepared myself in advance to feel nothing so as not to be disappointed. After all, could a pile of stones really have such an emotional impact on me? Oh, how I shocked myself, completely spellbound as I was by the sheer awe of the place; feeling connected to every Jew who had ever stood there, to every Jew who could only dream of doing so, to every Jew who gave his life so that I could stand there that day. I vividly remember - and will never forget - the magic of that moment.

In 1979, my parents and brothers visited Israel for the first time in honor of my brother's bar mitzvah. I was so happy to share My Wall with them. I would visit Israel several more times before marrying and getting busy starting a family of my own. And suddenly, it now seems, I was back at My Wall - this time, with my husband and five young children,

all of us brand new citizens of the State and proud Toshavei Yerushalayim - "permanent residents" of the holy City.

Despite my current geographical distance, my love of the Land, the City and The Wall continues to grow since that earliest memory 50 years ago. And my gratitude to the Almighty for granting us the gift that we celebrate today continues to deepen.

Now the torch is being passed as I watch my married couples take their places at The Wall.

My Wall. Their Wall. Everyone's Wall.

There are a gazillion videos to watch (click here for starters) and events to attend on this 28th day of Iyar, Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). For my part, I will meet a friend for coffee this afternoon -
a friend who is visiting from her home in the Old City of Jerusalem.
And tonight I will take my little flag off my mailbox and bring it with me when I go dance with some of my amazing JWRP sisters who joined me on my last visit to Our Wall. It will be my personal "next best thing to being there".

Happy Yom Yerushalayim to you!
Mazal Tov on a half-century of reunifying, rebuilding and rejoicing in the miracle we witnessed 50 years ago today. May we all soon merit the ultimate redemption, rebuilding and rejoicing - and the reunion of the Jewish Nation coming Home from every corner of the globe. Home to stay.


  1. Ynovograd@successrealty.usMay 24, 2017 at 11:56 AM

    Last night I enjoyed Rabbi Goldberger's special Yom Yerushalayim lecture; I'll let you know when it's online. Today I played for him (and then for Mom, and then my office mates)'s 2 minute "Prayer Power" video which illustrates what the Rabbi described: all our prayers "flowing" to heaven via the Wall. No, we're not "talking to a wall" but through it!

  2. What a beautiful expression of your connection to Jerusalem!