Just Short of the Western Wall (July 2008)

Deuteronomy 30:14 . . . the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.

I did not pray at the Western Wall,
but I promise I will pray there
one day.

I will pray there, one day,
when I can pray beside my sons
and my sons can pray beside me.

Until that day,
I reject the holiness of that ancient structure
and honor the holiness of the pavement
on which I stood and watched others pray with generosity and love.
I reject the holiness of those great, sunny stones
and honor the holiness of my small, whole heart.
I reject the holiness of a practice that suggests
that one person might not be fit to pray beside another
and honor the holiness of the open courtyard and wide, blue sky,
and searing ache of bottomless loss and fragile hope
that rests upon every present shoulder
without regard for gender, race, religious practice, life experience,
political affiliation, guilt, shame, health, or any other human quality
bestowed upon us by the divine source of creation.

God is not in the Wall;
God is in our intentions.
Perhaps, another person could bring that intention
to the Wall and make it holy —
stones or self or sorrow;
but I could not.
So, I chose to bring my intention just short of the Wall,
where I found holiness most profound in me.

–Heidi E. H. Aycock

My view of the Western Wall this summer, 2008. The division leading from my vantage point to the wall separates the men from the women, meaning, I could not pray at the wall with Jon and Vince. So I stayed back. Other women in our group chose to pray at the wall for the very reason I chose not to. Either way, I think we all felt stronger because of our choices.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s