Today, I missed the Wall.
While living in Jerusalem for the academic year, I’ve made it a point to pray each month with Women Of the Wall.
After my first time praying with WOW (a great acronym), I realized that I was in a truly special place at a special time, with special people. This was not an experience I could keep to myself. I had to share it with others.
The excitement of challenging a corrupt system. The fear that doing the right thing endangered us. The awe of standing in front of two and a half millennia of Jewish history. The doubt of sanctity in a place where so many have acted unjustly in the name of God. The hope that we can be a light unto others, and the worry that the future may be as dark as the present.
So much life in one small plaza. How could I experience so much and tell others nothing of what I saw?
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Jonah Rank is a musician and a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, currently spending the academic year in Jerusalem studying at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary. An avid blogger, Jonah writes for his own personal website andOholiav: A Community for Viewing Arts & Entertainment Through a Jewish Lens, which Jonah co-founded. Intensely passionate about enabling Jews to live meaningful and inclusive Jewish lives, Jonah first became aware of Women of the Wall through reading news reports about the treatment of women and religious pluralism at the Western Wall. Recognizing Women of the Wall as a medium through which to engage both in prayer with the Divine, and in conversations with those who pray at the Western Wall, Jonah has committed to pray alongside Women of the Wall throughout his year in Israel, to stand as a peacekeeper in the Men’s section, where the intentions of Women of the Wall are gradually coming to be better understood.