This blog is going on semi-vacation over the next week during the Pesach (Passover) festival until after the chag (it finishes on the night of 21st April). If you would like to learn more about Pesach, have a look at Aish’s website or Chabad.
Not only has every Jewish housewife (and house-husband) over-exerted themselves with Pesach cleaning; the Kotel too has undergone its annual Pesach cleaning:
As elsewhere in Israel, the people responsible for the Kotel (Western Wall) are getting ready for Passover by doing a general cleaning – in their case, of the notes that have been stuffed into the cracks of the Kotel by the millions who visit it every year.
In a custom that has become universal – with non-Jews, as well as Jews, writing out prayers that are “left” in the wall for G-d to address – the wall is filled with notes of all sizes and shapes, all containing pleas for good health, happy families, and myriad other needs. According to Jewish tradition, a prayer rendered at the Kotel – the wall outside the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount – has a special power.
To make way for the new notes, the management of the Kotel – which is headed by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Kotel and the Holy Places in Israel – removes the notes every year before Passover. The notes are then taken to a special site in the Mount of Olives cemetery, where they are stored.
The notes were removed Sunday wth a special device that is capable of picking up the small notes that are stuffed into the crevices of the Kotel.
We’ll be having a full house for Seder with our son + 5 kids, and our daughter and son-in-law. And my parents for lunch the next day as well! Luckily we’ll be able to recover over the rest of the festival, perhaps with some day trips to Jerusalem and other beauty spots. On the other hand we might end up with some more “slavery”, helping our son and his family unpack in their new home. 🙂
For your Pesach enjoyment, here is a very funny video by the Israeli religious comedy team Underdoss (doss being the self-denigrating name for religious) about the travails of getting rid of and burning the chametz the day before Pesach.
I would like to wish all my readers, along with all of Klal Yisrael, a chag kasher ve’sameach – a happy and Kosher Passover. May we all merit to celebrate in rebuilt Jerusalem “speedily in our days” as we say in the Seder.
לשנה הבאה בירושלים הבנויה