Praying at the Western Wall

It’s Saturday afternoon and my brother has gone off to find a holy site, and I’ve decided to spend these nearly last moments in the Holy Land back one final time at the Western Wall (that small bit of wall remaining from the Temple Mount from when the Temple was destroyed in the first century, also called “the wailing wall”). I’m on the woman’s side, of course.

I came last Sunday and prayed, and today wanted to spend time with women of all nations and ages and faiths in prayer. In a few moments I’ll walk towards the wall to pray–for those so very many dear to me that I have carried in my heart on this long, mostly hot, mostly challenging, mostly inspiring, pilgrim’s walk.

…….. And as I was writing these words a woman all in white came up to me and said with authority, “No phone! Shabbat!”. I quickly showed her that I wasn’t talking; I was writing. She even more quickly replied, “No writing! Shabbat!”

Horrified that I had offended my hosts, I decided that I have something more to learn about keeping Sabbath. I stopped all my busyness and did the one thing that is always allowed–I prayed.

As I finish writing this, I am nearly packed for our 6.30 AM airport shuffle.
The French doors of my tiny room at Christ Church Guest House inside the Old City Walls are open to the symphony of Jerusalem sounds that never stop. I’m glad to be going home but there is much that I’ll miss in this strange and holy place.

(Found out later that photography is forbidden, too. Oh well. Here’s my photo anyway.)

2 thoughts on “Praying at the Western Wall

  1. (This is James+) It's great to catch up on your journeys! The rules to help you keep Shabbat brought to my mind rules about camping: don't take rocks, plants, or wildlife; pack out what you pack in, etc. Both sets of rules to create holy time and space: an environment to connect with God. Thanks for writing and sharing your sabbath with us!


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