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Soaking up sun at the Western Wall

View on the wailing wall, in the upper left co...

Image via Wikipedia

We walk toward the Western “Wailing Wall” past at least 20 vans of SWAT team units gearing up for what I wonder? All seems quiet as we walk into the expansive, sunny, blazing HOT,courtyard leading to the Wall. Our guide decides to hold a lecture right in the center of activity, without benefit of shade.

He tells us that it is forbidden to wear a cross or carry a Bible into the Wall area proper.

One of our group wonders off, and I soon join her desperate for some shade. This leads me into the women’s side of the wailing wall. The freezing water from the fountain in the center of the courtyard draws me like a magnet.  I wash my hands, though I don’t spit as others are doing.

We make our way right down to the wall stuffed with little pieces of prayers written on paper. I’m on the women’s side packed with little girls and women in all modes of modest dress, some sitting reading their Holy Book.

Others are lined on the wall, hands out praying. I walk up, touch the smoothed out surfaces of the rock.

The other women back out, I sort of twirl, half backing but mostly walking in a circle, half backwalking, half turning my back. It seems disrespectiful, but no one yells.

The heat and thirst is getting to me , it is almost unbearable, yet we have far to go.

My elderly friend and I stop by a cafe in the market/Souk on a street corner where we get some mint tea and do some people watching.

I get some sneaky photos of Israeli soldiers with their guns! One girl walks right up to them ans poses with them, so perhaps it’s not so forboden as we were told.

More later. I’m falling asleep.

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