A Link to the Past

You shall put these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall tie them for a sign upon your arm, and they shall be as totafot between your eyes.  – Deuteronomy 11:18

Today I went to the Western Wall by myself.  I have been twice before, but it is hard to get a real sense for such a holy place in large groups.  After donning my kipah and descending into the Western Wall Plaza, where men and women are segregated, a man from Texas sort of roped me in, literally and figuratively, asking me if I was Jewish.  I told him the slight Jewish lineage and apparently that was good enough.  He started to wrap tefillin on my head and arm.  Essentially, they are small blocks filled with Torah scrolls connected with kosher leather straps.  They are typically worn by members of the Orthodox community, though I saw all types of people wearing it, including a teenager with cut-off jean shorts and another wearing a sleeveless shirt.  I didn’t feel out of place at all.

I left the Western Wall by exploring a part of the Old City I have never extensively seen before, the Jewish Quarter.  The Jewish Quarter is usually very quiet as there are no major attractions there.  I felt incredibly safe walking through the streets, with only the low rustle of children and leaves as my guide.  As a primary site of Jewish residence, children and mothers ate in large squares as the setting sun illuminated the soft hills of the city.

Me wearing tefillin in front of the Western Wall

The leather on my arm. It makes the shape of a shin (ש) on my hand.

In the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. This wasn't where I got my tefillin applied, but I liked the sign.

Leaving the Western Wall. Looking back at the Plaza with the Dome of the Rock in the background.

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2 Responses to A Link to the Past

  1. jml says:

    OMG…love this entry! 🙂

  2. Melisa says:

    t always been so cool to black people but looking back
    it. This is where the need for a good horse racing systems comes in. They wanted an “improved” version of the native Kirgiz
    type that not only looked nicer, but could pull the
    heavier agricultural equipment that the Soviets wanted on the local farms.

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