At Kotel HaMaariv

Jews and Christians pray here, along sixteen-hundred
feet of wall, with their noses pressed
against the weathered stone and their fingers
laced in the spaces where notes and supplications
have been tucked as offerings to Yahweh. Like this
man here, dressed in black, standing with his
feet shoulder width apart in a drift of snow, beneath
a tuft of ice covered branches, cloaked in a white
and black prayer shawl with his arms bent, hands
level with his head as if he were prepared to
climb, to trek the hundred and five feet to the top,
nearer to heaven. His words are in Hebrew, a tefillah,
a heartfelt prayer, with petitions spilling from his
lips like drops of sorrow, praying for the restoration
of this temple, of this sacred ground where Isaac
was bound for sacrifice and where the Ark of
the Covenant was laid in the Holy of Holies. And
he prays a teshuva, a prayer of repentance, for
atonement, to be close to his Jehovah like he was
as a child, able to clutch his hands beneath his
chin, ask to be held, and feel arms of grace wrap
around him like Abba’s would. And I wonder if the
other people here will know his sorrow, this sorrow
of distance, of want, even as he stands alone with
several feet to his right and left, with his fingers
pressed against the prayer clothes left by the
worshipers that came before him. I wonder if those
to come will feel it when they step to the base of
this wall and stand where he stood with his shawl
covering the crown of his hair and the breadth
of his shoulders.

© 2016 C.A. Davis

One thought on “At Kotel HaMaariv

  1. One of the times I was at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, as I was praying, I heard a Jewish man “dressed in black” standing next to me, quietly rocking back and forth, singing his prayers. My body started to actually vibrate, the anointing was so strong! I just stood there and cried and thanked God for the encounter. I will never forget it. God is so good!
    Blessings to you.


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