Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Those Kotel Letters

As I mentioned once, I daven Ma'ariv at the Kotel (Koisel...?) before I go home. Because I'm there everyday, I see things that other people who aren't there everyday see, like the cleaning guys for example, sweeping, putting stuff away etc.

One day last week I was davening, and I saw one of the cleaning guys sweeping up a big pile of what looked like little papers, and I thought to myself, "No...", and what I saw next confirmed my suspicion. I saw him reach out, and sweep with his hand a pile of little Kotel-letters on the floor and sweep them up into the garbage, from a place that, honestly, the letters would've been blown away by the next wind.

I kind of couldn't believe it. After seeing that I wondered how many people thought their letters were somewhere safe in the old and secure walls of the Kotel, when their letters really had been swept up like last week's trash; wondered how many peoples' prayers had been chucked like the toungue of R' Chutzpis HaMeturgaman.

Truth is, I never really understood the whole putting-a-note-in-the-Kotel thing. I mean, you might as well just say whatever it is you've written, no? Is there any advantange to putting a letter in? God knows what you're thinking, and if you actually daven it, isn't that even better than writing it down? The power prayer with proper kavana can have, I would think (I could be wrong, of course), could do more than simply writing it.

I guess I could understand if people said they feel more connected somehow to the Kotel by putting something in. Sorta. Not really. I hear where they're coming from, but for me I just don't understand.

If anyone would like to indulge me, to explain this, "minhag", please do. If you do good, I might even change my mind...


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