When I put my forehead against the cool stone of the Wall today,  I thought of all the Jewish women who had come before me. Praying for themselves, praying for their children, praying for peace.  I thought of my grandmother and how important it was to her to provide her grandchildren with Jewish literacy and love.  I thanked her for bringing me to that moment.  I really felt her with me.  I thought of my future granddaughters and great granddaughters and prayed that they would find joy in Judaism. I thought of the strength of the Wall.  It is so strong. I tried to put my little pieces of paper in the wall. My prayers and thanks. It wasn’t so easy. There were many other papers there. The cracks were hard to negotiate. I think praying is like that. It isn’t always so easy. Sometimes I need to work hard to get into the right frame of mind. It takes focus, effort and determination. But when I was successful and my little pieces of paper were lodged tightly, I felt satisfaction. And connection. My hopes and dreams and gratitude are part of the Wall now. I am part of the Wall.  It is strong and at the same time full of cracks and flaws and so am I.

I was overcome with emotion. The tears that were running down my face became sobs. I wasn’t alone. I could hear women crying all around me. As I moved back to make space for another woman to experience the powerful, tactile experience of praying at the Wall, with the Wall, one of my new found “sisters” took me in her arms. We hugged for a long time, feeling the power of everything around us. The incredible emotions. The intense joy. This is Israel for me. This is Jerusalem.