Brachot from the holiest place on earth!

This is not the usual post-Succot message letting you know about the crowds of tourists and excitement here. This is not the usual pre-Chanukah coming down from an incredible spiritual high update. This is a message to let you know about our life here, and our duty here and abroad to continue our incredible project to keep Jewish prayers and people at the Kotel where we belong.

As you have surely heard, the terrorist stabbings in the Old City and all over Israel update every several hours now. The Old City is a ghost-town compared to the last 10 years, save for a few brave non-Jewish tourists and Old City locals and shopkeepers. Police in riot gear pass us on the way to our kindergartens, park and neighborhood excursions on weekdays and shabbosim. Helicopters circle. And we continue praying, learning, living and educating our children. Our prayers increase. Our hearts feel for all of our friends and neighbors who live and walk daily in the most dangerous area (the Muslim quarter near the entrance to the Kotel).

But, the true irony is that the Jewish quarter of the Old City, thankfully and bli ayin hara, remains the safest place to be. We go to the Kotel daily just through the Jewish routes and are saddened that the media has convinced most people that this route is too dangerous, when this is simply not true. So we WILL be there for you for your prayers. And we urge you to continue supporting Jews praying at the Kotel where we belong!

Now to the good news…

Mazel tov to Roshan, whose baby girl born at 22 weeks and 460 grams survived 10 blood transfusions, 2 infections and 4 months on ventilator support – appropriately named Nasya (miracle of Hashem) after 2 rounds of 40-day prayers at the Kotel. We are so happy and relieved to hear that mommy and baby are reunited in good health.

Congratulations also to Andrea, whose son got himself a job after our 40 days and to Lewis whose career reputation was saved when the truth came to light about his job performance during our 40 days. Please keep your good news coming – we love sharing in your joy after being there for you in your sorrow.

And if you still don’t see your prayers taking fruit – try not to despair. Keep your head held high. The key is to trust and know that each prayer is doing something and each trial is a blessing in disguise to build you. If you don’t feel this, push yourself to a place of mind over matter. This is your test – to think it anyway. If you can’t, ask G-d to help you trust that what you are going through is for the best. Tell Him that you want to believe this and to help you believe this. At the same time, keep praying for what you want and pushing as hard as you can. Both are necessary. This is your avoda (work) as a Jew and the formula to get your prayers answered.

Rosh Hashanah’s power is not over yet! There is still time to influence the judgment! The sources say that on Zos Chanukah, a regular person can accomplish what only a tzaddik can accomplish on Yom Kippur. 40 days leading up to this special day start in just three weeks on November 5th.

We will be there praying for you G-d-willing!

With blessings from a very grateful Old City dweller…


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