by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
The Mugrabi Gate to the Temple Mount is located over the women’s side of the Kotel (Western Wall in Jerusalem). In 2005 a heavy snow caused a landslide that made the earthen ramp leading to the gate unsafe, so the government constructed a temporary wooden pedestrian pathway.
For now, this is the only entrance to the Temple Mount that the arabs will (sometimes) let non-Muslims enter. When trouble is expected, our soldiers wait outside this gate in riot gear prepared to run onto the Mount to quell the riots.
A few Fridays ago the warning went out. As usual at such times, the American Consulate sent out warnings to all Americans in Israel not to go near the Old City, and especially not to go to the Kotel area. I have been at the Kotel more than once when thousands of deadly rocks came flying over the Wall (thrown down upon the Jews by arabs rioting on the Temple Mount above on the other side of the Western Wall).
It was one of those rare times when I was bringing in Shabbos early, and the minyan (prayer quorum) was singing the joyful tunes to welcome the Shabbos. We were the only minyan davening (praying) at that hour. The truth is, it is a very special moment, being the only ones singing, very few people there, joyful, quiet, I like it.
But when we finished singing “Shalom Alechem,” we noticed that the singing didn’t stop! We looked at each other, trying to figure out what in the world was going on. As I said, we were the only ones davening (praying)!
Then we figured it out; The heavily armed soldiers standing outside the gate--waiting to burst onto the Temple Mount - were singing the Shabbos songs along with us!
We have a Jewish army here, thank G-d. Now you see why, when we walk by our soldiers, we really mean it when we say, “G-d bless you….”