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Jerusalem Within the Old City Walls

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Elaine Falender
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The streets of Jerusalem’s Old City are crowded with tourists sightseeing and shopping.  Voices in Hebrew, Arabic and English, Italian, Spanish, and Korean echo off the walls of the narrow lanes.christian louboutin outlet uk  Smells of cardamom, coffee and fresh baked pita follow us along the way.

But above this mercantile cacophony, the very air of the Old City is thick with prayer, and freighted with history.  We begin our visit at the archeological park alongside the walls of the Temple Mount. here Chisel strokes from King Herod’s builders form beveled outlines on the stones along the walls.  Piles of stone rubble evidence the destruction of the Temple by successive invaders, and the varied layers of standing walls evidence the generations of rebuilding.  Generations of conquerors lusted to control the Temple Mount, and generations of the faithful came here to pray.

At the Western Wall prayer plaza, men go to the left and women go to the right.  I cringe at the enforced conformity with Orthodox practices and the clear physical inferiority of the women’s sector.  Approaching the wall, I reach out my hand to touch the sacred stones, women surround me praying intently, faces hopeful or pleading, or just seeking.  The power of the moment takes over from analytical assessment.  Involuntary tears come to my eyes, the enormity of the sacred tradition, the ruach of these praying women,  I feel a moment of connection to the divine.  Toby finds a prayer book open to Adon Olam and the two of us sing softly.  Slowly we back away from the Wall and return to “real” time  in the upper plaza.

Jerusalem brings us back to the beginning of Jewish time, the beginning of Christianity, the foundation stories of the Koran.  The rock on which the world was created, where Abraham and christian louboutin sale ukIsaac heard the angel and found the ram, sits just out of view under the Dome of the Rock in the Muslim precinct.  The Koran relates that Mohammed ascended to heaven from that same rock and spoke with Moses and Elijah.  In another quarter of the Old City, Christian pilgrims devoutly run their fingers along the stone where Jesus was washed for burial and kneel at the Stone of Calvary where he was crucified.  The rocks and building stones of Old Jerusalem breathe and speak. http://www.theblc.co.uk/ Jews, Christians and Muslims from around the world listen, pray, sing and reach for the presence of God.

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One thought on “Jerusalem Within the Old City Walls

  1. Toby Rosenberg says:

    what beautiful writing!

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