We are not religious, by any means. Seeing the Wailing Wall was something that we wanted to do as tourists as it is such a famous site. It is a symbol of the resistance and fortitude of our people and we felt compelled to be there. I was not prepared for the thick throng of people standing there. There were women sitting in beach chairs facing the wall with prayer books in hand. They seemed to be there for hours with young children playing around them. Women were standing four deep touching the wall and praying and sobbing. They were wailing. The wall has cracks between the rocks. There are thousands of small colored pieces of paper stuffed into every available space. Each rolled up piece of paper has a prayer on it. The floor is cluttered with prayers that fell out that day.
You must be politely aggressive to make your way through to touch the wall. I was shocked when I did...I became inexplicably overwhelmed and burst into tears. It was like an electric current to my core. I cannot explain it. Never happened before. A real religious experience. I felt the communion of centuries of women who touched this wall before me, and it deeply moved me. This is what travel is for... To connect you to the world around you and those who came before you.
Be advised that men and women are separated by a fence. You can stand on a plastic beach chair by the women's section and look over to the men's side. You can see young men having their Bar Mitzvah. Very special.
Make sure you come prepared with your prayer on a tiny piece of paper, curled up tight!
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