Western (Wailing) Wall, City of DavidMay 20, 2015 in Palestine
Today we walked back into the Old City via Zion Gate. We went to the Broad Wall (an ancient remnant of the wall around Hezekiah's Jerusalem). Then we made our way through the security checkpoint to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall). From there we made our way down to the City of David and the incredible Hezekiah's Tunnel.
In Florence, over a decade ago, I begrudgingly paid the fee to walk into the museum that housed Michelangelo's David. As I viewed the statue from my low perch below, I was overwhelmed at the sight of it. On that day, I was not expecting to be moved. Today as I walked toward the Wailing Wall, that same feeling came flooding back over me. My throat tightened and tears started to well up in the corner of my eyes as I neared the wall. I struggled to find a small spot between worshipers and tuck my hastily written prayer into any available crack.
The Wailing Wall is part of the retaining wall that held up the foundation for the second temple. It is the last remaining portion of the structure and is currently the closest thing that the Jews have to their ancient temple which housed the very presence of God. For this reason it is a place that is so important to Jewish worship. There is a sign leading up to the place where the Temple used to be (now where the Dome of the Rock is located) that says that no Jew should enter the place above because they may inadvertently enter the Holy of Holies and be struck dead.
Standing at the Wailing Wall today, I laid my hands on the smooth stone, worn by millions of hands and lips that have rubbed the roughness away. I allowed the profundity of the moment to sink in and found my way to Hebrews 10:11-14 and the words leapt off the page into my heart.
"And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."
I prayed for the people around me who were rocking back and forth and crying, and as I backed away from the wall, they continued to offer their powerless sacrifices.Read more