Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Kotel and Off to Tsfat: Trip to Israel part 3

First stop was to the takana (bus station) to meet my daughter Racheli who was on her way to Jerusalem from Tsfat. Everything and everywhere had a strange dejavu feel to it. It was reality and yet there was dream like quality to all of it. I think the strangest feeling was how familiar it all seemed.
How could that be possible when I had never been there? And yet everywhere we went, from the very beginning seemed as if I seen it all, knew it all so intimately. Maybe it was echoes of a past life? Maybe it because my soul knew I belonged there? Or maybe it was because my heart was so ready for this trip and embraced everything as it was. I can’t really explain it, but from the moment the plane landed I knew I was home.
Racheli finally arrived and it was like another scene out of a movie. Lots of tears, hugs and kisses. We dropped off our baggage at Ya’akov’s yeshiva and caught the bus to the Kotel. It was a misty, cloudy day but it made no difference while we were there. What were a few drops of rain when we were at the very gate to the Throne Room of the King of the Universe.
When I first saw the Kotel I said to my children, “I thought it was bigger.” I immediately felt embarrassed after I said it, but they laughed knowingly and informed me everyone says that. Interestingly enough my initial perceived smallness of the Kotel changed immediately as I neared its holy stones. Right up to the Wall I slowly walked. I had no idea which way my children went, nor was I worried. I felt quite safe and alone, but not lonely. I had no fears except for the fear of the awesomeness of where I was. Even that I am sure I felt only to a small extent. To be sure, if I truly realized where I was how could I have even taken another step? I would have simply fallen on my face before Him and poured my heart out to my Abba. As I approached the Wall I wondered what would happen. Would I be changed?
“Oh, Please Hashem, don’t let me walk away from here the same!” I cried. I kissed and touched the massive stones, placed all the letters my beloved family and friends sent with me to place before the King and opened my book of tehillim. This sefer (book) would become my very best friend during this trip. I poured out my heart in utter gratitude for this precious gift Abba had given me. I then felt every emotion come forth from my heart. As the tears came forth I felt the release and relief of a soul set free. I cried and cried and a dear lady murmured “baruch Hashem,” over and over. She placed her hand on my shoulder and told me to be B’simcha, Moshiach is soon here! My heart rejoiced at this very thought. I begged for this joyful news to happen soon! I poured out my requests for my children, my beloved, myself and others. My heart was so full it was easy to pray. I could have stayed there for hours and I do not think it would have felt more than a few minutes.
Finally, after praying the Amidah, I felt able to walk away. Slowly, not turning my back from the Holy Wall, the last remnant of our last Holy Temple, I truly felt I was leaving a Holy and Royal place. I thought of the dear lady who told me to be b’shimcha, Moshiach is here, I prayed that it should be true. I imagined what it would be like here when the Holy Temple was rebuilt, may it be soon in our time.
I found my children all waiting for me and I pulled them so close to me. Here we were, all of us In Jerusalem! Hashem is so very good to us!
The children took me inside where we could get close to where they think the Kadosh Kadoshim (Holy of Holies) is. My son went to pray, and at this point I was too overwhelmed and exhausted. I gazed down from the ezrat nashim (ladies section) and sighed.
It was getting late, so we caught a cab to the bus station and left for Tsfat. We had a three hour ride ahead of us. I thought now I would finally be able to get some sleep. I hadn’t slept much the night before we left, nothing to speak of on the flight and now we were into the next day. Oddly enough, I did not feel tired or jet lagged but I for sure knew I had better get some sleep.


NotQuiteJuneCleaver said...

Everytime I come here and read, I cry. You are just so dear to share your trip with us. Thank you!

Baruch Hashem!

kasamba said...

Your kids are lucky to have a Mom on such an amazing Madrega!

Tamara said...

Beautiful post. Am looking forward to the next installment!

jenny said...

Your recounting of your trip is helping me to relive my trip to Eretz Israel in 2000. Thank you, it is wonderful. And yet, this account of your time at the Kotel is.....I don't have the words. Just wonderfully precious. You are exactly right. It feels like you are at home. I cried when I had to leave Yerushalayim. Thank you so much. Baruch HaShem.

Philly Farmgirl said...

Kasamba: I am the lucky one to be sure! :-)

Tamara: Thanks so much! Having some difficulty writing, there is so much to write...want to come over for coffee?

Jenny: We cried too...

Philly Farmgirl said...

Not Quite: I love sharing with you!