Sunday, October 21, 2007

At the Wall

We went back to the Wailing Wall again today. When we arrive in Jerusalem Friday night, Sabbath, or Shabat, had begun and we walked into the Wall area which was filled with singing groups of men and women. Down at the wall itself, devout Jews read from the Torah rocking back and forth with intense devotion. It was as if we walked in on something intimate. No one took pictures, but we were welcomed in to pray and observe. Men backed away from their prayer time up the steps, not turning their backs on the Wall.
This afternoon we came back to the Wall, but it was a different scene. We were hustled everywhere we went. Men came upt to shake my hand and ask my name. When I told them, they offered to bless me with a token red string tied around my wrist. When I told them I would not give a donation, off came the string and they quickly moved on to another "mark." How quickly a holy and sacred place can turn into a tourist trap.
Spaces that we view as sacred are very maleable by our actions and atttitudes.


At 10:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

China was little like that too, but still, it was just so cool...I want to go to Israel someday too...


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