Category Archives: The Kotel

On the Other Side (Song)

Rabbi Josh Snyder
October 31, 2013

After a few attempts, this song found its inspiration in a piece by master glass artist and Baltimorean Gianni Toso.  The piece, called “Birthright”, shows the kotel on two sides: one, with a more traditionally-dressed crowd in gender-separate reverence before the kotel, and the other with mixed dancing of Taglit-Birthright Israel participants in shorts and More »


What do I tell them?

Rachel Petroff Kessler
October 30, 2013

I tell my students: We pray facing Jerusalem, towards the Kotel, to remind us how important those places are to the Jewish people. I tell them: for many generations the Kotel has been a sacred space for our people, a remnant and reminder of the ancient Temples that stood in Jerusalem. I tell them: one More »



Rabbi Ben Goldstein
October 28, 2013

There are people with a heart of stone. There are stones with a human heart. Hakotel, The Wall, Israeli Folk Song.   Of all of the services throughout the year, my favorite has always been Friday night. Growing up, Friday night services were smaller, and more intimate that Shabbat morning, and they always seemed a More »


Scenes at the Kotel

Alex Braver
October 24, 2013

1.  I was a freshman in college, on a trip to Israel with my family.  I had a K-6 Jewish day school education but was not religiously observant.  The Kotel felt huge, overwhelming, full of meaning.  It seemed like the center of all Judaism, the holiest place on earth.  I felt the enormity of the More »


The Kotel, Runs Deep

October 22, 2013

The Kotel runs deep. Walking through Jerusalem, with it’s markets and vendors packed into a tight space designed just for the purpose of traders and herders from corners of the Middle East to share their goods, I remember. It’s been that way, for a long time. My feet remember the feel of hard, smooth stone More »


And It Shall Be A Sign For You

Rabbi Amitai Adler
October 21, 2013

Judaism has a penchant for recursive symbology: symbols of symbols of symbols, nested within one another, sometimes dizzyingly. A great example of this is the aron kodesh (the holy ark in the synagogue). During tefillah (prayer), we face it, we bow toward it, we rise when it is open, and it is a minor honor More »


Along The Wall

Rabbi Joshua Bolton
October 18, 2013

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 More »