Friday, January 16, 2009

Wailing Wall On Shabbat!

I was finally able to get a picture of the Wailing Wall so here you go! It's much grander in person, trust me! Today we had the amazing opportunity to celebrate the beginning of Shabbat which starts on Friday at sundown. It was so fun to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God with the Jewish people and to take part in their sacred day. Before we left for the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall or Kotel (all three names are correct), we had to learn a little bit about the nature of this holy site and what rituals were appropriate to participate in. Although many may think that the Western Wall is part of Solomon's Temple, that's not true. It is a part of Herod's Temple which was built on top of the first temple built by Solomon. The Wailing Wall is GINORMOUS but not nearly as high as it was during the time of Christ's life and ministry. The thing that blows my mind about this holy place is the fact that the Western Wall was the exact wall that Christ looked at daily and touched with His precious hands. We were told before that we were not allowed to bring our cameras because they would be confiscated if they saw anyone taking pictures so sorry there are no new images to look at for now but we can go back any other time but Shabbat and take pictures so just be patient and I'll be sure to post them! Our teachers told us to bring scarves so that we didn't completely feel out of place but I felt totally ridiculous and out of place with my scarf ON! Unlike Muslim women, Hebrew women rarely keep their heads covered. With all of our brightly-colored and intricate scarves, we stood out like a sore thumb! It was way embarrassing and many women came up to us to tell us we looked like dumb Americans so we quickly got the point. You would think after so many years the Jerusalem Center has been to the Western Wall that they would know we looked comical. Maybe that was the point! None the less, it was a way cool and very different experience that I will never forget! The Jewish people's love and excitement for the upcoming Shabbat made me reflect upon how I look forward to the Sabbath and what I do to prepare for this special day where I am given the blessing to renew my baptismal covenants and strive to be more Christlike in the new week ahead. I have gained a greater appreciation for the importance of the Sabbath and the need to rest from all our cares so that we may reevaluate our lives and change the necessary things that will make us that much closer to returning to live with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ once again. Shabbat Shalom!


Mom said...

What a crazy & interesting experience. That is funny about your scarfs that completely achieved the opposite results they were intended for. Oh were all being obedient at least. Looking forward to seeing the pictures!

Brooke and Aaron said...

I love the scarf story. I can't believe the women came up to you and told you you "looked like dumb Americans"! How rude!! I'm glad that you can go back later to take pictures. I'd love to see it.