Along The Wall

Rabbi Joshua Bolton
October 18, 2013
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In the slips and dashes of history, we became a people of the Wall. No cathedrals. No turrets. No spires. All we have is a Wall.

Our great spiritual obligation: To stand at a Wall. To caress the soft stones of a Wall. To weep at a Wall.

At the Wall, all anyone can do is look at the Wall. From all her angles. At the Wall all you can do is close your eyes because there’s nothing to see there. There is a Wall in your way.

The Wall as hard, historical, heavy thing. And the Wall as deeply abstract experience.

The Wall is a place of longing. The Wall is desire for Tikkun.

Wall embraces you in comfort and consolation. Wall is cold, and you are far from home and lonely.

To beat and bang on the Wall.

To wonder what could ever be on the other side of the Wall?

I lean up against the Wall, nonchalant – familiar – speaking with friend.

We are people who answer a question with questions. The Wall is the place of questions. (The Temple is the place of answers).

Heschel’s words: “One of the great sins of contemporary education is to give the impression you can solve all problems.”

A Wall is the intractable problem par excellence.

The Wall is democratic. No one passes. No one manages to scale her.

And authority over a Wall is absurd and necessarily cruel.

All walls hint at the Wall. And I mean all walls.

The Bosom of Abraham has something to do with the Wall. (So high. So wide).

The Wall becomes fundamental to the architecture of life. We turn toward the Wall.

Most news stories and poems are perpendicular to the Wall.

You cannot really love the Wall. She is just a Wall.

A friend asks, “Have you been to the Wall?”

The destiny of most Walls is to be torn down or to become attractive in their peculiarity.

The Wall is at the heart of every Jewish act.

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