Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Its raining in Jerusalem

I sit on my computer, in my freezing cold basement, getting ready to jump on the treadmill. But there is a delay. My computer is working hard trying to create a PDF, and I can't run a DVD while the PDF is getting generated. instead, i turn on my wife's computer, and go to thekotel.org. I click on the full screen button, and before my eyes is live streaming video from the Kotel.

This isn't snapshots every four seconds. This is a live video feed from the heart of Jerusalem. It is almost sunrise there, and I can see the Chassidic men walking quickly toward the tunnel so they can Daven. One man, in a talis, is standing outside, in front of the wall.

An incredible scene is playing in front of me. 6000 miles away it is raining, and I am watching the rain fall, the blue and white Israeli flag waving meekly in the rain.

There is no gold-colored dome taking up the view. This is the Kotel. I want to touch the screen, feel the rocks beneath my fingers. Feel a closeness to God that you can't get anywhere else, least of all in Detroit, Michigan.

The people are walking faster now, in larger groups. Behind the kotel, some trees are becoming visible, as God is about to let his sun shine down on his home town.

I can see the plastic of the Tallis bags reflecting off the lights, and a lone woman is walking around on the Ezrat nashim side of the Kotel.

A dawn is breaking across the world. I sit here, mesmerized by what I am seeing, in awe of the technology that allows me to see it.

I want to be there right now. Away from the snow and ice that helps shape our lives in Detroit. When I touch the wall, I do not want to feel the LED monitor. I want to feel the cold warmth of those stones. See the pieces of paper left behind by thousands of other Jews.

But it is not to be. Not tonight.

So I'll take what I can get. Play the role of the voyeur. It's interesting. When you watch people's body language, you can tell so much about their kotel experience. This morning, most walk toward the Kotel as if they have been doing it their entire lives. Later in the day, though, there will be someone who is standing alone, just trying to take the entire experience in. Looking at the wall for the first time, feeling a connection to his Jewish heritage.

Groups of teens and tour groups and a million other people will walk across my screen. They don't know that they are reminding those of us who can't be there how special the Kotel is in our lives.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful Ar!! The land is a calling you.
Golda =)

February 02, 2005 5:55 AM  
Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Great post Air.

February 02, 2005 9:09 AM  
Blogger 2R said...

we're waiting here for you, i'll go with you pretty much anytime... i do feel slightly responsible as i went "off the deep end" ealier...

February 02, 2005 12:40 PM  
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