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April 22, 1988 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Western Wall

Symbol of Hope

By PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor Emeritus

Thanks to the Kotel Maaravi — the Western Wall — an important
term has become inerasable in the Yiddish lexicon. Tzetelach is the
magic term. It applies to the scraps of paper that have become
messages to the Almighty, to families, to ancestors.
They are messages of hope as well as of grief, appeals to be
remembered and to be comforted. They are stuck between the aged
stones of the Kotel, the Wall. They may be written as prayers and
could be legible. They can also be illegible but the message is there.
They might be written on an old envelope or on the edge of a
newspaper. The pleader is in all of them.
Because the Shechinah — Divine Presence — has never left the
Wall, people will leave their messages of prayer and hope and are
confident their wishes will be taken seriously by the Almighty and they
will be answered.
The tzetel has become a symbol of faith, an expression of hope.
It is inserted in the cracks of the Wall or the moss of it in confidence
that the spiritual forces intended for, the relatives and ancestors
remembered, will listen and respond with cheer. It is all done in
great faith and the memory of the Ancient Temple that survives in a
mere Wall nevertheless, symbolizes the strength as well as the
glory of Israel.

Put Your Prayer In The Wall

Would you like to have a prayer or message put in the Western
Wall? Just write your message in the coupon below and mail to
L'Chayim, c/o The Jewish News, 20300 Civic Center Dr., Suite 240,
Southfield 48076. We will turn them over to some person or group
who will visit Israel soon and ask them to perform this mitzvah on
your behalf.

Name

(optional)

Message

ttte° Daily Life In Israel A Far Cry From What Americans Experience

By NIRA LEV
Israel is clearly a Jewish state
with a very Jewish character, in
spite of the many differences of
opinions and different attitudes to
religion. Although not all Israelis are
religious, every day life and
everybody's life is permeated with
Jewishness, or with the Jewish
spirit. People live Jewishly and think
Jewishly without always being
conscious or aware of it.
Where else but in Israel will the
daily broadcasts on the radio and
on television start and end with
readings of verses from the Bible,
from the Talmud or readings of

Nira Lev is associate professor of Hebrew
language and literature at the Midrasha
College of Jewish Studies.

quotes from our sages? (Psooko
shel Yom — Verse of the day — is
the name of the program.) Where
else but in Israel will you have the
busy streets of big cities almost
empty of people and traffic on
Friday afternoon, creating a
beautiful, serene atmosphere of the
approaching Shabbat?
Where else but in Israel will
you have a real sense of Shabbat
with all stores, businesses, banks,
offices closed, people strolling in
the streets and all commotion stops
as if a new spirit has ascended on
all?
Friday night is family night
(when families get together for the
festive meal) and it is also the night
of social gatherings. These social
gatherings usually start late, at 10

p.m. or even later, after the meal is
over, and continue into the wee
hours of the night. There is no
hurry! You can sleep in on Shabbat
morning.
Buses start going again as the
Shabbat goes out, and the cities
starting teeming with life again.
Where else but in Israel will
you have the words of the most
popular hits taken from verses from
the Bible or from the prayer book,
and revolving around themes of love
for the country, for the nation, for
Jerusalem, and hopes for peace?
Where else will you have a
special week (always extended by
public request) of the Hebrew Book
Fair, taking place in all cities, to
display Hebrew books and promote
their sale? Hundreds of stands are

set up in special central town
squares, where Hebrew books are
sold.
Where alse will you have
children writing essays and poems
every year before Rosh Hashanah,
expressing their hopes and wishes
for the new year, with most of them
placing peace at the top of the list?
Israel is a family-oriented
country. Where else but Israel will
you come on Shabbat to visit an
army camp and find large numbers
of families outside the camp, near
the fence, having a picnic with their
children — their soldiers?
Where else can you walk in the
street on a hot summer day without
a hat and have a nice lady (a
Jewish mother) approach you and

Continued on Page 42

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

39

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