Monday, March 16, 2009
Lent at the Western Wall
At some point during the next 12 hours, I'll hunker down to prepare a prayer for transport to Jerusalem where it'll get tucked into the Western Wall next week.
Yes, I believe God will have already received my prayer before its physical arrival, but I like this tradition. Plus, it should come as no surprise that I think Catholic-Jewish relations could use some divine intervention these days. Petitioning God during Lent at the remains of the Second Temple makes cosmic sense to me.
So as not to suck up too much space, I'm planning to use a teeny slip of paper, although I really shouldn't worry about generating sacred litter. To make room for more prayers, notes are cleared out before Passover and Rosh Hashonah, and then buried on the Mount of Olives.
This practice of tucking notes into the Wall began during the 18th century which, considering the scope of Jewish history, makes it a relatively recent custom. Even more recent is the option of sending a prayer to Jerusalem via email, where it will be written out and then placed in the Wall for you. Kidding you, I am not.
This service is offered by Aish HaTorah (free and donations welcomed), Virtual Jerusalem (free), and the enterprising folks at Writing to God, who have recently marked their service fee down to $7.97 from $12.97 ("It's easy, It's fast, It's simple.")
I'm sure you can find other options on the Internet. In any case, I invite you to join me in praying for reconciliation among all God's people -- this year in Jerusalem.