Thursday, August 11, 2005
A Time to Pray
Over 150,000 (some say 250,000) Jews packed the old city of Jerusalem last night for the largest Jewish prayer gathering in the Old City, since the destruction of the Second Temple, 2000 years ago. While the "Disengagement" may not be more of a small callous blip on the radar screen of Jews outside of Israel, the unusual combination of Ultra Orthodox, together with all types of settlers and nationalistic religious Orthodox made last night's "atzeret tefilla" all the more unique. Starting from the Jaffa, Zion, and Ashpot Gates all the way to the Kotel, through the shuk -- the Armenian and Jewish Quarters were standing room only. I only managed to get to the top of the stairs in the Jewish Quarter before I could physically not move forward another inch.
I've been to almost every pro-Eretz Yisrael demonstration and Atzeret over the past 14 years, and never have I seen the Old City as packed as it was last night.
With tears running down people's faces, there was a common, collective, unified call to the heavens, for Divine intervention to stop the expulsion plan against thousands of Jews from their homes in the land of Israel. "Aveinu Malkeinu" was read line by line, as the hundreds of thousands answered in prayer, culminating with Tehillim and Shma.
There was a clear feeling of Yom Kippur in the air, as people felt they have done as much as possible to prepare for next week.
Let us merit, Next Week in a Rebuilt Jerusalem.
Posted by Jameel @ The Muqata