When I was growing up we would often talk about celebrating mass, but it never really felt like a “celebration” in the normal sense of the word. But the mood at the Western Wall at sunset on Friday was very much one of celebration. It seemed to bring together all elements of Israeli society.
In the center everything converged, yet not far away a concentration of orthodox Jews worshiped at the Western Wall…
…while others pushed a baby stroller toward the celebration.
Meanwhile, young soldiers on a break were busy checking their smart phones, as young soldiers everywhere are inclined to do.
It was unlike anything else I have ever seen. And all of this was happening in an area barely the size of a football field.
What made it even stranger still, was realizing this was only one facet of Jerusalem. There is also a significant Christian presence.
Not to mention Muslim.
And of course all these elements coexist, uneasily, reluctantly, within a stones throw of each other.
Quite literally, “within a stones throw”. And I guess that’s part of the problem.
But I still highly recommend a visit if you ever have the chance.