Mmm, WotW was extra lovely indeed. Lots of friends showed up (I think they had to cancel the egal minyan at one yeshiva b/c all the women were coming to the Kotel today), and I had the great honor of leading both Shacharit and Musaf. It’s always so humbling just to be at the Wall with all of these incredible women, and all the more so with the weight of being shaliach tzibbur (leading prayers) on me. Standing at the place of worship and utmost longing for thousands of years of Jews, and getting to raise my voice in song and praise, to lead others in prayer–it’s amazing. We don’t know for sure what happened in Ezrat HaNashim (the Women’s Courtyard of the ancient Jerusalem Temple), it’s possible that there were women leading some sort of worship there, or in the 2000 years since by the Kotel. But it’s just as likely, perhaps more likely, that we’re the first real generation of women ever, in history, who have lead worship so at this site–singing loud, hymns and hallelujahs. It’s amazing. The mind truly boggles. I am so grateful, and so lucky.
According to the current status of the Supreme Court decisions, (possibly to change–I’ve heard rumors that the current plans for excavations might affect the Robinson’s Arch area, but I could be wrong about that–don’t quote me on it!), after praying Shacharit and Hallel at the Kotel, WotW is to go over to the Robinson’s Arch area by the side to read Torah, pray Musaf, and put on gear (tallitot, tefillin, etc.) We have one little corner of the Arch area–lots of other groups come as well to the Arch in order to pray in a mixed-gender environment, since the Kotel itself is divided (with, of course, about twice as much of the Kotel courtyard taken up by the men’s section. Naturally.)
Today there was what looked to be a youth group trip–high school-aged folk, I’d guess–and a bat mitzvah, respectively. As one of the WotW members observed, it really was a miracle to see so much Jewish life, so much prayer, so much happening around these old, old stones.
Our Torah reading was punctuated by the sound of drums and shofars in the distance; a bunch of hippie hasid types (I’d guess they were Breslovers but I could be wrong) were having a big ol’ jam session over on the far end of the Kotel plaza. As we left Robinson’s Arch, we shook our little booties for a couple of minutes before heading out of the Old City.
×–×” ×”×™×•× ×¢×©×” ×”â€™, × ×’×™×œ×” ×•× ×©×ž×—×” ×‘×•.
This is the day that God made; let us rejoice and be happy in it.