The Western Wall
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The Western Wall

In celebration of Israel’s 67th birthday, Fresh Ink for Teens honors the spiritual heart of the country.

<Photos courtesy of Liora Finkel (above) and Ari Denlow (below)

The Wall

By Ari Denlow

Never in my life have all my questions and doubts gone away.
That was until I went to the Kotel for the first time. 

It was incredible,Ari Denlow at the Western Wall.
I felt this connection.
A connection to God.
A connection to the Jewish people.
A connection to Israel.
I felt all of this from a wall.

That was when I realized,
The Kotel is not just a wall.
It symbolizes the Jewish people.
There are cracks that represent the hard times,
But the wall is still standing,
Just like us.

It was incredible,
I felt this connection.
A connection to God.
A connection to the Jewish people.
A connection to Israel.
I felt all of this from a wall.

As I looked around,
I humbly thought of my ancestors.
They prayed to be in Israel,
To be in front of this very wall.
There I was, fulfilling their wishes.
I listened to the laughter.
I listened to the crying.
I listened to the singing.
I listened to the praying.
I did not know how to react myself,
Until it hit me,
And I felt it.

It was incredible,
I felt this connection.
A connection to God.
A connection to the Jewish people.
A connection to Israel.
I felt all of this from a wall.

 

I, The Kotel

By Liora Finkel

Even to those who haven't seen me in person can recognize me,
They have for decades, even centuries.

They see my outside.
Tan stones and moss,
But that is not actually me.

There are many people who see my true colors,
and I have seen those people since the beginning of my existence.

I am for the struggles of the Jewish people and others in this land,
which I have seen from the beginning of time to today.
From even before the 67 years of my home’s modern existence,
Through a summer of attacks in 2014,
I am still standing and able to say “Am Yisrael Chai.”

I am yellow for happiness.
Through almost every struggle and hardship of all people,
there was happiness.

I am green.
Though I am green on the outside I am green on the inside.
I am green to show buds and blossoms, new beginnings.

I am pink for dreams.
Jews and others forever have dreamed.
The Zionists have dreamed of a homeland for the Jews.
People wonder what will happen to me tomorrow, in a year, in a decade.
Though you may see a wall of colors tan and green,
now you know what should be seen inside of me.
Because I am active in the dreams of the Jews once more,
they now say “Next year in Jerusalem,” excited to see me!
A lot has changed and people could only imagine how amazing my home is.

IDF soldiers and Jews from around the world dance and sing in front of me.
Though all this is true there are still struggles.
People might misunderstand them,
but they are still there.
Now might be easier to see the true me, the Kotel.

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