Israel Forever

For the week ending 6 August 2005 / 1 Av 5765

Letters to G-d or Prayers?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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As Jews this Shabbat begin their annual nine-day period of mourning for the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and fervently pray for its reconstruction, it is interesting to note the universal focus on the Western Wall demonstrated by a ceremony which took place there the other month.

Close to a thousand letters addressed to Gd were delivered to the rabbi of the Western Wall by the Israel Postal Authority for placing into the cracks of this sacred remnant of the Temple area. It seems that thousands of people of various faiths throughout the world send letters to G-d every year, and the common practice is to forward them to Jerusalem. Between 2,000-3,000 letters arrive here each year, many of them addressed directly to G-d at the Western Wall or the Western Wall itself.

Twice a year they are brought to the Wall to take their place alongside the kvitlech prayer notes which are traditionally place there by worshippers at the site.

For Jews who rely on prayer as their form of communication with G-d this is a time for reflection on our desperate need to pray for the ultimate redemption of Israel forever.

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