52 Years Later

kosel
Imagine Eliyahu’s pride at having helped to create the plaza of the Western Wall!

It was a day that no Jewish heart can forget. From the time of the Romans to the Ottomans to the British—strictures had been placed on what Jews could and could not do at the Western Wall. Benches and tables were mostly banned; at times it was the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) or the mechitza that divides men and women at prayer services. For two decades, the Western Wall had been in Jordanian hands and completely inaccessible to Jews. And then came the Six Day War and suddenly, the Western Wall was in Jewish hands. Every Jewish soul responded – from the Hasidic Jew to those with no Jewish identity at all  . Some understood. Others did not but their souls did. In a scene that was repeated many times over, the inner soul cried out:

“I want to say a prayer. What should I say?”

“Say Shma!” (universal Jewish prayer)

“But I don’t know how!”

“I’ll help you. Shma…”

“Shma!”

“Yisroel”

Yisroel!”

All eyes were filled with tears. These hardened soldiers were unable to speak. They had one desire only to grab hold of the Wall and hold on tight. And there it was, in all its splendor. They were overcome and bowed their heads. Many of those heads had never been graced with a yarmulka (skullcap) but somehow knew that this…this was real.

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Eliyahu is given a VIP tour by Ezer Mizion as he so richly deserves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The alley in front of the Western Wall was barely 15 feet wide.  Even before the war was over, a group began clearing the area in front of it for a plaza. They began immediately after the Sabbath on June 10, and finished bulldozing the Mughrabi Quarter at 3 a.m., thus creating the Kotel plaza as we know it today which accommodates 60,000 people.

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Ezer Mizion’s many divisions enabled Eliyahu’s dream to come true!

Eliyahu, a holocaust survivor, was one of those men. He was young and vibrant, sitting on top of his tractor doing his part as a loyal son.  Today, 52 years later, he is no longer young, no longer vibrant.  But that glorious day in history is as clear in his mind as the day it happened. And he yearned to visit the kotel once more, to witness the thousands that congregate on the area that he helped clear. His voice was wistful as he expressed his desire to the Ezer Mizion volunteer who had been visiting him regularly. On his own, it was impossible but with the help of the varied Ezer Mizion divisions, it all fell into place. An appropriate companion was found, all logistical hurdles were overcome. And there he is waving to us as his wish is about to come true.

 

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Up to the Kosel

pr amb up to kosel IMG-20151230-WA0008 pr amb up toi kosel IMG-20151230-WA0004 pr amb up to kosel IMG-20151230-WA0006 He is only eighteen years old and his body is ravaged by cancer. But his neshoma (soul)? His neshoma is alive and well. For two weeks he was in a coma. His first words upon awakening: I’d like to go to the kosel.
And that’s where Ezer Mizion came in. Always searching for ways of easing the plight of cancer patients, the staff went into high gear. His physicians were consulted. The decision was that his condition would only allow a trip directly to the wall itself. Could Ezer Mizion make that happen? Key people were contacted. The police became involved. More calls. More meetings. And then…triumphant success. His young fingers would once again touch the stones of kedusha.
Please be mispallel (pray) for Nehurai Chaim ben Avigayil Chaya.pr amb up to kosel IMG-20151230-WA0009pr amb up to kosel IMG-20151230-WA0005

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