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Jewish Journal

The stones of our faith

by Lauren Bottner

October 27, 2011 | 5:20 pm

I’m the dry-eyed one in the family.  I’m the one who gives the eulogies at funerals because I can get through them without breaking down, the one who doesn’t need tissues to watch “Beaches” or “Terms of Endearment”.  I come from a family who buys stock in Kleenex, going through travel packs like water at both happy and sad occasions, and I always feel left out, as if my lack of tears signifies that I don’t care.  That’s never the case, but I just don’t cry almost ever. 

Until I touched the Western Wall in Jerusalem this evening, put my hand on the edge of Hashem, gripped the stones and started praying for my life.  Wedged in the farthest corner of the women’s side, I begged for blessings for my family, my friends, those close to my heart, and those whose suffering I do not know.  I said thank you for so many blessings and whispered prayers for peace, healing and protection.  But mostly, I pleaded for my life, for guidance, for a miracle. I kissed the stones, keeping one hand on the rocks of my heritage, the stones that Judaism is built upon, the smooth surface of faith.  I could hear the cries and prayers of those around me, but louder than anything, shouting out all external distraction, I overheard my soul imploring G-d for a life with less cracks, a life at home in my skin wherever my feet may stand. Holding on to a crevice in the wall as if my father’s hand, I stuffed my corner of a piece of paper with my prayer into a semi-vacant spot and beseeched G-d to for a miracle, prayed to live each day fully awake.

Hashem, bless us, save us, cure us.  Please don’t leave us.  I need a miracle.  We all need a miracle.

And there’s a reason they call it the Wailing Wall.  I have to go buy more Kleenex…

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