Sunday, January 31, 2010
Anger rushed into my body and swallowed me whole.
I fought it. Anger is a place I am not terribly comfortable visiting and a place I certainly don't want to live.
But the feeling was undeniable. A fire in my belly.
As I stood alone, surrounded by people of more nations, faiths and stories than I could possibly know- I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the history and multiple meanings of the wall that stood before me.
This 2000 year old wall that stood in front of me has a deep and complex history. Built by Herod the Great as he attempted to return the temple to its former glory, it was the last remaining fragment of the temple after it's destruction in 68 CE by the Roman empire. This conglomerate of stones is of utmost significance to the Jewish community, and I fully honor that meaning.
But in this moment- in this time and place- looking at this wall left me drowning in anger and sadness.
Angry with the power structures which build walls to keep some in, and others out. The prevailing human tendency to exploit others for our own gain. At this moment this wall represented the way we have all used violence to justify violence. Hate to justify hate.
At this moment this wall held nothing beautiful or holy, but only left me wailing.
People from all around the world come here. They are dressed in traditional religious clothing, or in skinny jeans and gucci jackets. There heads are covered or their heads are bare.
We all come to stand at the wall. And to pray.
I wonder, what do we pray for?
Do we pray for peace?
For God to come?
For our enemies to fail?
God, Why do we do this?
Why do we build walls around our cities in your name?
Why do we build constructs of stone and wood and metal and wire and defend them to our death?
These broken stones, layer upon layer left me sad and angry with our broken and fragmented state.