Thursday, 27 April 2017

A Man Prays at the Kotel - Why I Took This Photo


The Kotel (the Western Wall in Jerusalem - also known as the Wailing Wall) is that one special place in the world that it seems the entire world cannot run away from. They are forever streaming towards its holiness - from everywhere!

Here is the place where there had once stood the two holy Temples - the first built by King Solomon himself! It was the place in which the Divine Presence would manifest Itself. Of course, the Divine Presence is everywhere - but were It to expose Itself to everyone at every one period of time - we would all expire into ecstatic union with It. Much like a person cannot look into the sun directly without turning blind - unless he would wear strong sunglasses, so too would it be impossible for the soul in a body to perceive the light of Divinity without some sort of protection. Therefore God created a world where His Presence would be hidden from everyone - with just enough light allowed so as to allow for existence to feel itself as having its own nature - as if it is itself only - detracting from the point, that everything is included in the One. When the moment comes however - this will change, and all of creation will perceive the Light - with souls included in their bodies... 

Nevertheless it was still His will to allow His existence to be perceived in at least one location in a world made of time-space. This place would be built physically by Man (though it is certain that miracles must surely have occurred to allow for the building of this splendid Palace.) No metal instruments were used in its building - because how can one allow that which is used to destroy (to kill) in building something made to build, to create and to bless - something that is for life? For this purpose, the Creator had made a creature in the world known as the Shamir. It was a very small worm, but it had a miraculous ability to cut through the hardest of stone without barely even touching the stone. It was an amazing creature - created for just this purpose. Its whereabouts today are either not known - or perhaps it has disappeared from all existence... 

Here, in this Palace that He allowed us to build - He would allow his Presence to be perceived. Depending on the location within it, His Presence would be perceived even more... until ultimately culminating in the Holy of Holies - a place where only the High Priest would be permitted to enter - just once a year - in the utmost of purity - in every respect. This would be on the holiest day of the year - Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement. Here, the High Priest would perceive the highest levels of Divinity. Perhaps we can safely say that only the Kohein Gadol (the High Priest) could actually ever know what that experience must have been like - since after all - nobody else would enter... 

The Babylonians destroyed the First Temple made by King Solomon. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70CE. One wall - however - remained. It is this wall that people from all over the world come to pray - because they know that it is here that the Divine Presence rests. It has never really left this place. It is a place of prayer - it always will be. Everyone comes to pray... men, women, children. Those who are Jewish - and those who are not. In fact, one should not be surprised to find out that many non-believers have stood at this very "Wall" lacking any belief in a soul of any kind - only to walk away feeling rejuvenated, believing in a Creator and having a desire to come closer to understanding more about themselves, their souls, and the meaning of life... 

Here, a man has come to pray. I don't know if he is Jewish or not but his stance tells me he is need of answers. His body language is enough to tell me he feels frustrated. He is need of salvation! He has realised that some places are holier than others - and if he is to pray in the strongest way possible - then he has come to the right place! He may well pray in his own bedroom at any time he wants - or his own private temple - wherever that might be... but he has chosen to pray in a place which maintains its holiness always. He knows that here - he may pour out his heart. Here - his prayers will be heard. The answer may not always be yes - but his prayers will be heard. He knows the value of this place. Surely so - or else, he would not be here. 

It is not the stones to which he prays. In fact, it is not even to the outside section of this wall that he prays. Rather, his mind cleaves to the Presence of Divinity that rests here. The holy section really rests on the other side of this wall - but it has been destroyed! Perhaps - he may even be considering how he too would like to see the building built up again as it was once before in all its glory - where all prayer was answered in the best possible way - in ways of revelation, visibility and manifestation... 

This is the Kotel - the Western Wall - located in the holy city of Jerusalem in the Land of Israel. It is a place for everyone to come to and to pour their hearts out in prayer. There is no discrimination against anyone - for every soul needs its needs taken care of. Every soul wishes to cleave to Divinity. Every soul desires Life - Ecstasy - Expiration! Here at the Kotel - one can feel it! One must be sensitive to it, prepared for it, and willing to give in, to nullify oneself. 

This man has done so. He is willing to acknowledge his need in a Higher Being than himself. 

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