JERUSALEM INSIGHT #442:  FIRST VISIT
From Jerusalem Diaries
FROM LAURA (who made aliya with her family in 2002 from the US)  TO NEVE DANIEL, Gush Etzion:


"How embarrassing that my baby, a sabra, has been living his whole life (7 1/2 months) a mere 25 minutes from the Kotel, the Wall, at the holiest site on earth -- and I've never taken him there!

Jews all over the world pray three times a day towards this spot, and I couldn't take an afternoon and bring him there?  (Well, you see, the parking is terrible there, and there are all these stairs, and the stroller ... okay, I'll stop.)

Today was the perfect opportunity.  I was in Jerusalem, my baby was with me.  I didn't have a car to deal with parking, and I had TIME -- a precious commodity.

So we hopped into a cab and were driven way closer than I ever could have parked.  My older sons Eitan and Ezra marched off to the men's side.  They wanted to bring Yaakov since he is a (very) little man, but I waited 7 1/2 months for this, it was.my moment.

The Kotel plaza was rather crowded today, but the moment my sons walked off, the rest of the people melted away.  It was just me and my Yaakov as I softly explained to him where we were and why this place is so special to us.

I brought him right up to the wall and patiently waited for an opening in the sea of praying women.  When it came I placed Yaakov's little hand on the stones and savored that special moment.  Then I slowly backed away, Yaakov staring silently ahead, as if he, too, felt the extraordinary feelings that were washing over me.

I know Yaakov won't remember today.  We don't even have any pictures to prove he was there.  But if it is important to speak to a baby, to play with him, let him hear music, see colors, have experiences, then what more meaningful experience is there to have then to go to the spiritual center of the world?

Laura, Neve Daniel.
JERUSALEM INSIGHTS:  A journal of insights, stories and torah thoughts from Jerusalem's Old City
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