Sunday, May 29, 2011

I love living in Israel.  I mean, I really love living in Israel.  Despite the last few months of living through my own personal little hell, I would not have preferred to have lived through it anywhere else but here.  There is a built in spirituality that kept me grounded.  It never quite leaves your neshama so long as your feet  are on the ground here. No matter how small the flame gets it never quite goes out.  At least it didn't for me.  As much as I wanted to turn my back on God and leave his "rules" my soul was torn and I was never quite able to go through with it.  It was like the power of the souls around me was holding my soul with a spider web that kept me ever so slightly tethered to my people.

Driving up to Jerusalem I can feel my spirit lifting as we rise into the mountains.  Getting the car and the freedom to drive in to Jerusalem when I need a pick me up, and in fact having to go in to see my therapist once a week, has made an enormous difference to my overall well being.  Today Jason and I went on a date to o some of the "Jerusalem-y" things that I have never done that I have always wanted to do.  It was exhausting, and a total emotional roller coaster for me, but I am so glad I went and I feel much better for having had the day out alone with Jason.

One of the things that we did was the Kotel Tunnel Tour.  Apart from the fact that the tour itself was incredible and something I have always wanted to do, I had a moment there that I could not imagine having anywhere but in Israel.

So the thing is, about half way through the tunnel tour you reach the spot on the Western wall that is directly opposite where the Holy of Holies was when the Beit Hamikdash was standing.  It is actually odd in that the stones there drip water and it looks like the wall itself is crying.  As we were coming to the spot, a group of 4 women came through the centre of our group to go there to daven.  Turns out, a bride on her wedding day is welcome to come in, free of charge, to pray at this, holiest of holy sites.  It is also long thought that a bride on her wedding day has the power to give brachot to which God will listen.

I left our tour group and went over to the kallah and asked for a bracha.  I told her my daughter died 3 months ago and I had one amazing little neshama at home and all I wanted in the world was the chance to have more.  She gave me the most wonderful, sincere, spiritual and complete bracha, taking everything I could possibly think of into account, and it ended with the other women showering me with brachot and me and the kallah, two total strangers from totally different backgrounds who would likely never see each other again, sobbing and hugging in this narrow, dark corridor with the wall weeping beside us.  Then we both turned to the wall holding hands and each said our own prayers.

This stranger gave me the sort of loving bracha one would expect from a sister or very close friend.  Not a stranger off the street.  I can't imagine being anywhere else in the world and having a similar encounter.  It was  two neshamas touching across the entire spectrum of Judaism.

I don't know what I missed from our tour-guide (who happened to be very good!), but I do know I would not have given up those few minutes for any history lesson in the world.


  1. Definitely an Only in Israel moment. The tour guide said he once saw a Kallah come in her wedding dress. It was black at the bottom from trudging through the dirt of the tunnels.

    It is nothing less than Hashgacha Pratise that the timing worked out so perfectly. It is also a testament to your awareness of others, that you saw the opportunity and took advantage of it.

    I must admit, while I was trying to pay attention to the tour guide, I was half watching what was going on and thought it was a really beautiful moment.

  2. .."two total strangers from totally different backgrounds who would likely never see each other again, sobbing and hugging in this narrow, dark corridor with the wall weeping beside us.."
    Your writing is so beautiful, Rachel. May all of the brachot you received today be answered for good, soon.

  3. That is so beautiful. Sometimes a stranger's bracha is the best one of all. May all of your (and her) tefillos be answered soon, with the answers you are looking for!

  4. I wish I could write like you - May all your dreams and the brachot rained on you come true.