Two members of the Lincoln Park Jewish Center recently returned to Yonkers from several weeks in Israel, during which time they prayed at the Kotel.
They continued an ancient custom of inserting kvittlach, notes containing written prayers and requests, into the crevices of the huge foundation stones. The prayer notes are wedged into the tiny spaces between the blocks of Jerusalem stone.
Jewish law forbids reading any part of the more than one million notes placed every year in the Western Wall. Twice every year, before the holidays of Passover and Rosh Hashanah, men using long wooden sticks scoop out the notes. These prayers to God are considered holy and are respectfully buried, unread, in the nearby Mount of Olives cemetery, Har Zeitim.
The Jewish mystical kaballah teaches that personal individual prayers and the soulful requests beseeching God in the notes ascend to Heaven through the Temple Mount, which sat upon the top of the Western Wall when the Temples stood in Jerusalem.
By Robert Kalfus