When I was in Israel I made sure to visit the Western Wall, the last surviving remnant of the Jewish Temple from over 2,000 years ago. It was amazing to see so many Jews praying together from all over the world.
We take it for granted that Jews can pray anytime at the Western Wall, but for centuries Jewish access was restricted, sometimes we were even completely locked out.
I found this amazing video showing how young Jews during the British mandate, at great risk to themselves, smuggled in a Shofar to the Western Wall area and blew it at the end of the Yom Kippur services. Wow! – I’m just so inspired by their bravery and dedication!
Jerusalem is full of places that are holy for the Jewish People and the Islamic and Christian religions. I am proud that under Israeli sovereignty the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif in the Islamic tradition) is packed with Muslim worshipers during their Friday prayers, that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher welcomes Christian pilgrims from all over the world, and that we Jews at last have the right to pray without being barred by foreign powers.
For thousands of years, when Jews have gotten married, the grooms have smashed a glass to remember the destruction of the temple and our exile from Jerusalem.
Here’s Matisyahu, one of my favorite reggae artists, singing about what Jerusalem means to him. Enjoy!