Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Wailing Wall & the 'CNN interview'

the 'women's only' section

I haven't been there for quite a while. I keep away from crowds, and there's always a crowd at the Wailing Wall, the remaining wall of the Temple of God, in the old city of Jerusalem. People are coming here from all over the country and from abroad to feel the presence of God, touch and kiss the sacred wall stones, pray for divine mercy, weep, insert a wish note (tzetel) into the cracks of the wall and between the stones.

The types of wishes on those notes are endless: health, success, finding a spouse, procreation
, guidance from God in personal problems, long life etc...
Nowadays, people can send their prayers and wishes by e-mail, by fax and even by Tweeter (Some see all this as sacrilegious, I haven't got an opinion yet on this matter).

Anyway , as far as I know, the slips of paper are collected twice a year and burried on Mount Olive ( the place from which, so it is believed, God will begin to redeem the dead at the end of the days).

There's this famous joke (Oh God, please forgive me!), about a CNN journalist who interviewed an old jewish man who had been going to the Wailing Wall to pray every day for a long time:

- Sir, how long have you been coming to the Wall and praying?
- For about 60 years.
-What do you pray for?
- I pray for Peace between Jews and Arabs.
-How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?
- Like I'm talking to a wall.


  1. I love the comment at the end about talking to a wall. So true. But we should never give up trying for peace!

  2. WoW! I will never get to see this so I thank you for sharing this with us. HeHeeeeHeeeee....the comment at the end cracked me up. Have yourself one blessed day!!!

  3. Hi Duta! I love that little joke at the end. Very funny & very fitting for your story. Very interesting also about the notes in the wall and where they go when they gather them up. I love how you bring the world to my eyes everyday, especially since all I see is my little part of the world here in California :-)

  4. When I was there, I saw a wonderful cross section of Israelis. A soldier leaned his M-16 against the wall while he davvened. A distinguished looking elder with a booming voice seemed to know everyone there, as well he should since he turned out to be a shnorrer. A Hasid in black and an athletic looking man, fashionably all in white, prayed standing next to each other. I only wish I could have observed the women as well.

  5. Great picture, Duta, and great joke :D I like that one.

    As far as the e-mail to the wailing wall, my view is if God has given us the ability to create the internet, maybe it is okay with him. I think being at the wall personally, spending the time praying and leaving your note, I am sure, gives a person much more peace in their mind and heart than sending an e-mail. We have a great and miraculous God who can bring good from all things. If your e-mail is done with good and loving, prayerful thought, I believe God will hear.
    Great post!

  6. Another joke

    Why does a Moroccan bring his wife to willing wall, before he marries her?
    Cause he wants to teach her how to talk to the wall.

  7. Interesting post with a great ending!

    I guess everybody has his/her own way of seeking help from whatever source they believe in, spiritual or earthly.

    In my favourite film *In the Mood for Love*, a Chinese production, there is a deleted scene which I found on Youtube where the lead actor goes to an isolated spot and finds a tree. He wants to place a secret in the tree. In a knot-hole he whispers his secret, then plugs the hole with some paper or something. He is relieved of the secret, perhaps a confession, safe in the knowledge that the tree will never disclose it.

    Silly, but understandable. Much like the wailing wall.

  8. Ah, these places you keep introducing me too, Duta, how they make me realise that there is a world out there ticking along just as I am ticking along in my own small space. Poignant joke that: funny but at the same time sad. Excellent and thought-provoking blog again.

  9. Sandy aka Doris the Great,
    Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you liked the ending and I agree with your opinion that we should not cease trying to make peace.

  10. Nezzy,
    Why do you say that? One never knows how you might end up visiting Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall.
    I'm glad the joke 'got to you'.
    Have a blessed day too!

  11. Alicia,
    About the notes, they are not to be burnt or just thrown away because they contain the word God; so they are burried.

  12. TallTchr,
    You've surprised me with 'davvened' and 'shnorer' within your impeccable English!
    You are right - one can see at the Kotel ( the Wailing Wall) "a wonderful crossection of Israelis".
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.

  13. TheChicGeek,
    Thanks Kelly. I tend to agree with you about sending wishnotes through the internet. Your explanation is very plausible.

  14. Rahel/Rodica,

    Good joke! Never heard it before. Thanks.

  15. PhilipH,

    Thank you for liking the post and the ending.
    As you so well put it, everybody seeks help from whatever source he can. It's human, and understandable. Praying and inserting wishnotes at he Wailing Wall has been a custom for centuries.

  16. Vera,
    Thank you ,Vera, for the compliments. I'm glad you liked the post. Your space in France is not so small, there's much room for exploration.

  17. I loved the commentary and the picture. Your post is, as always, very thought-provoking. It makes me stop and think, as I'm caught up in my everyday mundane activities, that while I might be doing my laundry or cooking dinner, that someone in a different part of the world might be inserting a note into the cracks of the Wailing Wall. Your posts are always looked forward to. God Bless.

  18. Bica,
    God Bless you too. I like your calling my post "thought provoking".

  19. Very funny joke, DUTA. I have a feeling that sentiment is too true concerning his prayer topic. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

  20. Hi Janie,
    Thanks for stopping by. Yes, unfortunately , after so many years, things don't move in the right direction between Jews and Arabs in the area.

  21. That was an absolutely charming joke, DUTA. It is amazing that the wall has stood through so much time and activity. Wouldn't it be amazing if it could tell its stories? Oh the history it has seen, and the people it has encountered.

    It looks old, and careworn also.

    It was a great post to read, and think about. The comments are also fascinating.

    The Wailing Wall is truly a place with character, and who knows, perhaps more than character.

  22. what a wonderful blog you have, i'm going to explore here some more..thank you for following mine. i have done the same to yours. one day i would love to stand at the wailing wall....

  23. Land of Shimp,
    The Wailing Wall is indeed an amzing old place and truly a place of character. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  24. AngelMc,
    Welcome to my little blog. Hope you'll enjoy reading my posts. May God help you fulfill your wish of standing one day at the Wailing Wall!

  25. DUTA, your joke made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! I love it.

    The Wailing Wall is one place I have always wanted to visit. Maybe one day...

    And I had no idea we could e-mail God. Who knew! What a wonderful idea!

  26. Jo,
    I'm glad you laughed, I'm glad you wish to visit the Wailing Wall, I'm glad I brought news to you (about the possibility of emailing God). Glad you stopped by and left a comment.