Israel 2020: Day 7

Today, we went to the Kotel (Holy Western Wall) in Jerusalem. 


We went on a special tour of the Kotel Tunnels.


Got to see the foundation stones under the Temple Mount where legend has it that G-d created the world from and where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac.


This is also the place where the first and second Jewish temples stood.


We literally got to see so much of the ancient underground building stones, pillars, arches, bridges, waterways, and even learned how they think that these mega limestones (weighing over 520 metric tonnes) were moved into place so many thousands of years ago with pulleys, gears, and levers. 


It was a fascinating and fun tour. 


Thank you to my son-in-law and daughter for getting us tickets to this. 


Lovely time by all. 😉


(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal, and sorry about turning it sideways once it gets to the underground waterway) 

Hearts and Stones

I love the saying by Rav Zvi Yehudah Cook:

There are people with hearts of stone, and there are stones with hearts of people. 

The people know who they are, and the stones reside where has G-d set them. 

In the final redemption, the peoples’ hearts will turn back to Hashem and the stones with hearts will rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What’s Your Fantasy Synagogue

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “What’s Your Fantasy Synagogue.”

We all go to synagogues that we like in some ways and don’t like in others, but have you ever thought about what your fantasy synagogue would be like if you could make one?Last Shabbat, we were invited for lunch by some wonderful friends who had been sports writers, and the topic of fantasy football came up, where people compete for coming up with the best team by picking their own players and forming their ideal team. I said, half jokingly, wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same thing with synagogues and pick the best aspects of each and make an ideal house of worship for ourselves where we could pray, learn, grow, and experience holiness and community. 

In the article, I detail “the best of the best” when it comes to synagogues and the ultimate ideal synagogue is of course, in the coming of the Mashiach and the rebuilding of the Temple. 


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Tisha B’Av @Kotel – Ushering In The Redemption

 

 

 

Last night, as Tisha B’Av (the commemoration of the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples in Jerusalem) was nearing conclusion, we watched these beautiful videos of:

1) The singing of Ani Ma’Amin at the Kotel yesterday in 2018. 
2) An amazing NCSY kumzitz, including at the beginning, the singing of Kol Berama Nishma/Rachel Mivakah at the Kotel a few years ago in 2015.

“A voice is heard in the Heavens, lamentati​on, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children;​ she refuseth to be comforted​ for her children,​ because they are not. Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded,​ saith the LORD; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. And there is hope for thy future, saith the Lord; and thy children shall return to their own border. “


Both are so beautiful, and we imagined G-d looking down from the Heavens and being moved to rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and bring his amazing presence closer to us once again on Earth. 


Oh let it be!  😉

An Arrogant Model Who Defiles The Holy Temple

Please see my new article, Naked Before G-d, in The Times of Israel. 

“In such a G-dly place [as the Kotel], where we are all spiritually naked for our actions before our Maker, [Belgian model,] Ms. Papen displayed not soul, but her haughty flesh.”


And like the Sotah in the bible, who drinks of “the bitter waters” for defiling the sanctity of her marriage, Ms. Papen will most certainly come to see the consequences for her defilement of the most sacred place of Judaism. 


I wouldn’t want to be her, seriously! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

@The Great Kotel in Jerusalem

So we made it to the Kotel in Jerusalem yesterday.


What an amazing experience.


It’s been too many years.


Definitely, one of the top moments of my life.


As we entered the old city and walked through the narrow ways toward the Western Wall of the Temple, my heart and breathing was racing and I could feel the spiritualness getting closer and closer. 


When we finally arrived at the Holy Wall, I was just completely overwhelmed and saying over and over, OMG!


We took some photos, and then immediately when to pray at the wall. 


I think I got lost in prayer and didn’t realize how long I had been standing and clutching the Holy Wall of G-d’s ancient Temple. 


I truly believe that our prayers ascend to Heaven at this special spot of G-d’s earthly abode. 


I wanted to fall to my knees, but stopped myself repeatedly as this is not generally the Jewish custom. 


But in my mind, my body, and soul was prostrated completely before G-d Almighty.


I put myself in His hands.


We can only do our best, and the rest is all in His control.


We can try to make the best decisions we can, but the real guidance in life comes from Him and His will for us. 


We learned in Yeshiva, not to ask in prayer for specific things in life to happen for us, but rather to ask G-d to do what is right in His eternal mind for us. 


This is right…submit to the King of Kings and let Him show us the way for us.


What are the right words to say to G-d?


At the end, thank you and please continue to help us, your children. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)