10) OPPOSITE THE HOLY OF HOLIESReal Audio
Tour Guide

One of the fundamental lessons that Judaism has taught the world is the concept of holiness--the ability to strengthen ourselves to raise our physical and spiritual awareness beyond our normal limitations and connect with a Higher Reality.

Time can be holy, and place can be holy. Yom Kippur, for example, is a holy point in time, a chance to review our lives and start anew. Shabbos, in its own special way, is also a special island in time, distinct from the weekdays before and after it.

The Kotel, on the other hand, embodies holiness of place. Here, for some reason, we are able to open ourselves up to G-d in special ways. Suddenly, we find ourselves rushing to put a note in the Wall, hoping to reach out to our Creator.

This place in the Tunnels is also like that, only we are that much closer to the most holy spot on earth, the one place where all the gates of prayer were open. In our time, the passage to that place has been covered over. But the power of the connection remains.

You may notice that the stone in the middle of the archway is moist. It is almost as if G-d softly weeps in sympathy with those who pray in this place.

Standing here you may sense that you are close to Someone who is listening and who cares. How fortunate we are to be able to come here once again.

Feel free to take some time to say a silent prayer. Let youself be present for the quiet beauty and holiness of this place. Know that your prayers will echo with the prayers of all those who have passed this way before. You are following in the footsteps of an ancient yet eternal people.

The time grows long and we must continue. Before we go, you may be wondering about the custom on placing a note in the cracks of the Western Wall, a custom beginning with the story of Rav Chaim David Azulai, the Chida.

Then, as we continue, we will soon come upon a long, narrow passage...


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