Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Note In The Kotel

Do you ever find it hard to put pen to paper? Writing letters can sometimes be difficult. How do you express yourself adequately? Use just the right tone? Include all that is needed? When writing a letter to HaShem it gets even harder!

My husband took my son to Jerusalem today and I wanted to give them a note to place in the Kotel. Like most people, I have a lot of people on my mind at the moment plus many hopes and fears. How do you decide which are the most important? Notes placed in the Kotel are supposed to reach HaShem. Would the citation of too minor a worry cause offense? Should one just stick to the bigger issues? Can anybody tell me what the rules are here??!

In the end I chose to write my note on a small square piece of paper – the kind you find in fancy boxes and keep by the phone. I decided that if I had little space available then I would naturally keep the note short, sweet and succinct.

I managed to fit in three sentences which adequately expressed the main things I felt I needed to relay. The note was then taken to Jerusalem and placed in, ‘a nice, comfy spot’ by my son.

Placing notes in the wall is an ancient tradition. The Midrash tells us that the Divine Presence rests on the Kotel and prayers inserted into the cracks between the stones of the wall are felt by many to find their way to the listening and responsive ears of our Maker.

It is strange but once I spoke to my son and established that the note had been taken to the Kotel, I felt a strange sense of serenity and comfort.

Apparently, the sheer number of people placing notes in the Kotel means that the Chief Rabbi of the Kotel has to remove them several times a year. None of them are read but in order to dispose of them in an appropriate manner, they are buried, in the same way as soiled prayer books, tsitsit etc. are.

I hear that anyone around the world can simply click on to a choice of websites these days to cyber-send their note, which then gets printed out and placed in the wall. What a great idea. It is nice to think that people can benefit from such a service and heartening that it must bring such peace of mind to many, even those hundreds and thousands of miles away.

Sharona B


Mikeinmidwood said...

The note thing is actually a questionable practice sine maybe the har habayis where the temple was built could start from the cracks in the wall not the other side and you arent allowed to go on the har habayis and you can write anything on the note even to have hot pizza for supper.