Category Archives: The Kotel

Gods of Stone

Rabbi Sara Brandes
October 17, 2013

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, identifying thousands of deities; however, there is a debate among philosophers of Hinduism, ancient and modern, as to whether or not this polytheism is set on a backdrop of an essential monotheism.  For more than a thousand years, some Hindu mystics have argued that beyond the many, lies the One. More »

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How Am I Supposed to Feel?

Emily Goldberg
October 16, 2013

How am I supposed to feel about the Kotel? That topic seems to be left out of the Jewish Day School curricula. We learn about these cold stones and their rich history, starting from the days where they were amalgamated into the great Temples leading to their destructions. We are told to fast and mourn More »

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Listen, Israel…

Naomi Less
October 15, 2013

There are a few articles about the Kotel and Women of the Wall in this month’s Sh’ma Journal about Holiness.  As my friend Ellen Allard taught me in in her song, “Holy-Holiness” – “all around, everywhere – holy holiness”.  (Very Baal Shem Tov of them.) So why the attachment to locale? I’m actually less interested More »

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The Weeds in the Wall

Rabbi Scott Perlo
October 14, 2013

בס”דWhen the shnorrer approached me, I was in between laying my arm tefillin and my head tefillin. I was standing just below one of the large caper bushes that lives in the upper reaches of the Kotel. His hand flopped in front of my face, levered straight down from the elbow. He didn’t look at More »

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The Walls of History

Yoni A. Dahlen
October 11, 2013

It is taught that one should always carry two notes in two different pockets.  One note should read, “for my sake was the world created.”  The other should read, “I am but dust and ashes.”  The great Rabbi of Peshischa, Simcha Bunim stressed the importance of this message to his followers.  While the hassidim adhered More »

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The Kotel and Negotiated Space

Cheryl Goldstein
October 10, 2013

It seems almost unnecessary to say that the Kotel is iconic. As a signifier of the historic tie of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, the Kotel, provides a physical manifestation of what appears to be an intersection of religious and Zionist destinies. But this point of convergence, this mythic meeting place, continues to confront us More »

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The Kotel: Are You A Man or a Woman?

Maxwell Zachs
October 9, 2013

A mechitza (Hebrew: מחיצה, partition or division, pl.: מחיצות, mechitzot) in Jewish Halakha is a partition, particularly one that is used to separate men and women. Mechitzot are something I talk about a lot, they are also something I think about a lot, they represent the physical and metaphorical separation of men and women in More »

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Thin Places

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
October 7, 2013

In general, I follow Rabbi Isaac’s doctrine that “God is the dwelling-place of God’s world, but God’s world is not God’s [sole] dwelling-place.”  Effectively, I hold to a panentheistic conception of holiness: God is immanent in all things, and God transcends them; or, as McCartney might have said, God is “Here, There and Everywhere.”  But More »

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