To continue my previous post -- (Read it HERE
The tour guide said, "We visited the tunnels last night, plus today is Bar Mitzvah day and the crowds are terrible up there." (I'll be writing a post about the Bar Mitzvah celebrations later)
She was right, but Shelby had been ill the night before, so we were not able to go on that part of the tour. I prayed for favor before I asked her if we might go to the Wall to pray for just a few minutes. She agreed, though begrudgingly, and said, "Okay....but only for fifteen minutes." My heart leaped for JOY, and I thanked her profusely.
I have to explain why going to the Wall was so very important for me. In the early1990's , a friend visited Israel and placed my name in the Wall, praying that one day I would visit Israel. At that time, I had absolutely no interest in going there, but felt very impressed that she'd done that for me.
Fast forward to 1996. A woman visited my Sunday School class and talked to us about going to Israel. She said, "Put your name on this list if you are interested." I didn't put my name on the list because I wasn't interested, plus I didn't have $3,000 for the trip. I was recently divorced, with a teenage daughter at home, so money was very tight at that time.
Before she left that day, she said, "Gail, why didn't you put your name on this list?"
"Because I don't have $3,000."
"Do you want to go to Israel?"
"Not really. I'd like to travel, but to be quite honest, Israel isn't a place I've ever really wanted to visit."
"Well, I want you to put your name on this list...and if G-d wants you to go there, He will give you the money. Pray about it."
I put my name on the list, and after that, I started thinking about it and decided I would pray and ask G-d for the money. To my amazement, I received exactly $3000 within just a few weeks. Unfortunately, something happened related to my daughter's needs, and I had to use the money.
I remember feeling so bad for using that money, and prayed: "G-d, I am sorry for using the Israel money for other things. If you really want me to go to Israel, please give me another $3000." I know, I know....this sounds so silly, right? I felt guilty for even praying such a prayer, but guess what? My prayer was answered very quickly. I received a large sum of money out of the blue - again! G-d wanted me to go to Israel, so I thanked Him, and immediately made my travel plans.
On my trip to Israel in 1996, we visited the Temple Mount and I remember being so excited to visit the Wall where my friend had placed my name. As we were about to enter the area, our tour guide told us she had just gotten approval for us to visit the newly opened underground tunnel. This was a very rare opportunity, but if we toured the tunnel, we would not have time to go to the Wall to pray. The group voted for the tunnel. I remember standing at the entrance to the tunnel, looking back at the Wall and feeling heart broken. That's why touching it this time was so important to me.
Shelby and I rushed over to the entrance area, which has guards and metal detectors. There were big groups of people waiting to go in for the Bar Mitzvahs, and there was a band with a drummer, playing joyous music. It was the most exciting atmosphere...plus the rain slowed, and the sun began to peep out. G-d was smiling on us!
The area is divided with the women's side closest to the entrance. The font in the center (above) is for hand washing. It is traditional for women to wear head coverings in reverence to Adonai, for this is a very holy place. There were so many women at the Wall because they were praying for their sons Bar Mitzvahs.
The women were standing three and four deep and many were waiting for a spot to stand and pray close to the wall. I waited, and prayed for an opening so that I could place the little slips of paper in the cracks between the stones. (Actually, I had a bulging envelope full of prayer requests.)
As I stood waiting, a young woman turned her head toward me and motioned for me to take her place. I thanked her, and ADONAI, and slipped in to pray for a brief moment. I prayed for all of my friends, including my Gail-Friends, who had given me requests. Then I called Shelby over to take my place. I took this photo of her below.
I didn't get a picture of me praying at the Wall, but I did attempt my very first selfie:
Scary, huh? In spite of the worried expression on my face, I was so happy and so excited. This was an answered prayer, and a dream come true! I was praising and thanking G-d with a joyful heart.
In my next post, I'll share about the Bar Mitzvah celebrations that day. I am so glad we were there to see it.
(P.S: Does anybody know of any online tutorials for doing selfies? Mine always turn out like this...)