Monday, April 11, 2011

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to go to the kotel for the first time since my life fell apart.  I was dreading it.  I was a crying mess before I even made it down the steps.  I watched my husband tear kriah (for not having been at the kotel in more than 30 days) and knew in my heart he was tearing it also for a daughter he never got to mourn.  I had Jason tell his mom to hang back a little so I could have some quiet time with just Channah, and the two of us approached the wall.

Now the truth is, from a prayer point of view I have never really been "into" the kotel.  I was fascinated by it from a historical point of view.  Quite interested in it's cultural significance.  But from a prayer point of view I never really understood connection.  Aren't we taught that we can daven to Hashem from anywhere at any time?    Why should I really believe that there is a "direct line" so to speak from one specific spot on earth (especially one that was only, at its' peak, the retaining wall of a ,mountain and side of a shopping street.

I can understand the cultural aspect of being pulled to it as a place that Jews have chose to worship for hundreds of years being a strong tie to history and as such a place where prayer has been "build up" so to speak- but as an actual "this place is better than any other by design/creation"- that I have always had a big problem with.

This time, I helped Channah's hand as I approached the wall and I was crying and trembling already.  For the first time ever we managed to get a seat right up against the wall.  I put my arm against the wall, laid my head on my arm, and started sobbing- big, hiccuping, loud sobs that in retrospect were probably driving the people around me nuts- but something came over me and I just could not stop.

Channah asked me what I was doing and I said I was having a conversation with Hashem.  She asked how I knew what he answered and I told her I just told him everything I wanted to say and just hoped he was listening.

I cried for Gabbi.  I cried for the hopes and dreams that I lost.  I cried for having my beliefs torn out from under me.  I begged for another child.  Begged to go back to being happy with just Channah.  Begged to have my brain fixed so that I could move forward.  I cried and begged until suddenly, I just stopped.  I was all cried out- obviously not permanently, but for those few minutes I felt almost at peace with myself.  Dumb as it sounds I felt almost like God had taken off some of the pressure- just for a few minutes.

As far as crying went it was, well, almost cathartic.  I don't know if any of this makes sense, and I don't know if anyone else would have felt the same way, but I felt, for those few minutes, that I was with the Avinu who loved me and wanted to comfort me rather than with the Malkeinu who took my baby away.

As for the rest of the weekend away, well I think in a lot of ways the change of scenery was good for me.  It was like being able to take a short break from my nightmare and step outside my life for a little bit.  Being that I "was not really me" I could enjoy myself without feeling guilty.  I had a breakdown Saturday night at the end of shabbat, but that was related to the date and will be covered in my next entry not in this one.

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