2019 flip book website - Page 233

The Wailing Wall
Jewish tradition teaches that all of creation began in Jerusalem. The epicenter
is Mount Moriah, known by mystics as “the watering stone.”
It is here, on Mount Moriah, that Isaac was bound for sacrifice. And it is here that
his son Jacob dreamed of the ladder ascending to heaven.
Although other parts of the Temple Mount retaining wall remain standing, the
Western Wall is especially dear, as it is the spot closest to the Holy of Holies, the
central focus of the Temple. Jerusalem was destroyed and rebuilt nine times. And
through it all, one symbol remained intact: the Western Wall.
In establishing the eternal covenant with Abraham, G-d promised that the Jewish
people will never be destroyed (Genesis 17:7). In this way, the Wall is a symbol of
the Jewish people: Just as there have been many efforts to destroy the Wall and yet
it remains eternal, so too the Jewish people have outlived its enemies and remain
eternal. The Wall thus became the symbol of both devastation and
of hope.
As Mark Twain wrote: “...Other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high
for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew
saw them all, beat them all... All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass,
but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”
The Western Wall is no mere historical asset. It is the Jewish root – the deepest
roots that any people has. Elsewhere, we grope for insight. At the Western Wall, as
we water the Wall with our tears and melt the stones with our
kisses, we achieve clarity and define who we are, as G-d’s eternal nation.
— Written by Rabbi Shraga Simmons. www.shraga.com and thewall.org. Based partly on “The Western Wall” (Israeli Ministry of Defense)
SARASOTA-Israel 2019 205-240 .indd 231
1/8/19 4:01 PM

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