@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)

G-d Holds All The Keys

G-d Opens Doors.jpeg

So what is there to fear in this world. 


Whatever happens, happens. 


And G-d is the master over it all. 


He holds all the keys. 


G-d opens doors. 


When we are being challenged, look toward the Heavens. 


There is a door there somewhere. 


What can ANY man do to us?


When G-d reigns over ALL men.


In G-d, there is salvation and mercy. 


G-d will watch over His people.


And He will bless them in peace! 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Relating To G-d Through Rules And Relationships

Arches

So we had some friends come visit last night. 


They are religious Christians (brother and sister) who love the Jewish people, and one of them actually attends our synagogue on a regular basis. 


We had a nice time talking and eating, and I also learned an interesting religious lesson.


The man told me how he understood that Judaism is very focused on rules (i.e. laws) that people are supposed to follow as laid out in the Torah.


But he said, it is also important to build a relationship with G-d.


The relationship being about sincerely knowing that G-d is there for us, that we are bound to him, that we express our gratitude for everything he does for us, and that we ask him for what we need. 


I think the main difference in how he described it was that is was not in a rote and ritualistic type of way, but rather as in a real relationship, where we talk to G-d naturally and recognize him benevolently and lovingly. 


As Jews, we know we cannot substitute a loving relationship with G-d for doing what we are commanded to do, but perhaps we can do both. 


We can follow the rules–the do’s and don’ts–AND we can bind with G-d in a one on one relationship–where we are and feel bound to him not just because we must, but rather because we really love him for creating us, sustaining us, and he is the ultimate good in universe.


When we are in a “relationship” with G-d, it’s because he is someone we want to cling to, relate to, talk to, and yearn for. 


This is a just little different than how I learned about this in yeshiva, where it was much more about loving and fearing G-d in a  rule-based way–again because we are commanded to do it.


But perhaps it is nice also to love and fear G-d, because he is G-d and we are in a deep and growing relationship with him. 😉