Jewish Women on the Map - The Western Wall
The Western Wall-Modern Micha Mocha
My best friend of 17 years and I (both currently college students, native Kansans, and vocal feminists) went on birthright together last June. We were extremely lucky in that we just happened to visit the Wall on the evening of Rosh Chodesh. I had imagined that there would be a small mass of quiet women praying quietly while the mens louder words leaked through the divider. I couldnt have been more wrong! Them mens side was crowded with black suits, heavy fur hats, and the murmurs of thousands of prayers. It was when I noticed the action on the womens side that I got excited. It was jam packed with orthodox mothers, little girls in brightly colored tights, uniformed soldiers, old European Bubbies, and literally everyone in between. And they were singing, every song and prayer that anyone could remember, sung with magical unity, buzzing with accents from Russia, Spain, New York, but all on the trellis of matching melodies. Sasha and I got swept up in the giant circle (there must have been more that 100 of us!), hands being held by strangers, all dancing round and round. When one of the soldiers started Micha Mocha though, it hit me. THIS is what it means to pray. 150 girls and women, holding hands, singing the same song that Miriam sang as she danced her way out of Egypt. THIS is why we still thank G/D for what happened so long ago, those actions kept us and our people alive. Praying is not to be a silent chore, but joyful shouting in every language under the sun during the moments where we feel most alive.
Rachel Ahava Rosenfeld