Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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Touching the Kotel

    by Reb Gutman Locks


     We are told that the Shechinah (G-d's revealed Presence) has never left the Kotel.

     If so, why don't people see it?

     Well, for one thing, in order to move up spiritually we have to pay attention. Spiritual awareness does not come without effort.

     For instance, if you ignore the holiness at the Kotel do not expect the Shechinah to run up to you and grab you. The general rule is mida keneged mida. This means that Hashem relates to us according to our deeds. So, if you are showing such disrespect for the Holy Place as to smoke cigarettes there, including these e-cigarettes, talking on telephones, or any behavior that could be seen to be ignoring the unique holiness of the place, then it is obvious, the Shechinah is going to hide from you.

     How then are we to approach the Kotel?

     Some people are very careful to only touch the Kotel when they kiss it, and then only with their lips. Others love it so much they try to lay their arms and legs and as much of their body on it as they can. Some are so respectful they will not even touch it. And there are others who will not even walk within a few feet of it. They see that the Kotel is built with each upper tier narrower than the one beneath it. This is what made it strong enough to have lasted all these years. But it also means if you stand right next to the Kotel at today's ground level you will be standing over the lower tiers, so they stand back a few feet to prevent this.

     What's the rule? It seems that it is up to each individual to decide. My advice is; the more respectful and humble of holy things and holy places you are, the more you will gain from them.

     Each of us decides our own level.




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