Why I Couldn’t Go to the Kotel on My Birthday

Why I Couldn’t Go to the Kotel on My Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, and I have a lot on my heart I want to pray about, so I decided to walk to the Kotel. That’s a long walk, about an hour, but I decided to walk the whole way since Israel’s under lockdown again, and we aren’t allowed to go anywhere that’s more than a kilometer from home, unless 1) We have something to do that’s considered essential OR 2) We are exercising. So yesterday I set off on a brisk walk to the Kotel, with an awesome Rebbetzin Heller class in my ear.
I walked and walked, not even one policeman stopped me. And then I saw it, the Old City! But there was something strange, something I’d never seen before: Jaffa Gate was closed off with a huge metal door. It wouldn’t have occurred to me that a gate that big could be locked like that. But when I walked around the wall to the street entrance to the Old City, there were 2 policemen standing there.
“Good Morning, Geveret, where to?”
“The Kotel.”
“That’s not allowed.”
“But I’m exercising, sort of… I walked all the way from Kiryat Moshe!”
“You’re permitted to exercise anywhere you want, Geveret, but not in the Old City.”
So I turned back, and retraced my steps for about half an hour until I arrived at the grave of a Tsaddik near the shuk. And it was nice actually, I even had the women’s section all to myself.
And then a young married woman came in, around 30, wearing camouflage leggings under her skirt and running shoes. She looked more like she was on her way to a zumba class than a tsaddik’s grave, until she started reading her laminated Perek Shira, wiping away tears. And then another women came in and then another, until there were a whole bunch of us there.
And then a very pregnant woman announced, “I just wanted to tell all of you, I just came back from the Old City, the policemen wouldn’t let me into the Kotel! So I came here instead.”
And I said, “Me too!” and pretty soon all the women were nodding. We had all tried to go the Kotel, but when turned away, had come here instead.
Which made me think of the gigantic gates locking up the Old City, but how even gates that high can’t keep a Jewish woman with a lot on her heart from crying out to Hashem.


  1. I love this

  2. Wow!
    Which tzaddik’s kever was it?

  3. Elana Mizrahi


  4. Beautiful, thank G-d!

  5. I’m happy that you went to the taddik’s kever.
    But I can’t get past the image of Jaffa Gate closed. So sad.

  6. I don’t understand. The Kotel is closed? Looking at the Western Wall website, there are people there. And you couldn’t even get into the Old City? What is going on?

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