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Where Heaven and Earth Meet

Today was a very emotional day for us all. My first time in Israel since I was ten years old. Walking through the magnificent modern Mamilla Mall out towards the Jaffa Gate into the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. Muslim, Jew, Armenian Christian, young, old, religious and secular, it was a busy place today.

Nilli Couzins inspired us when she spoke about the Kotel, the Western Wall, also called the Wailing Wall. This is where heaven and earth meet, it is the portal to Hashem. You must whisper in prayer, you must bring your prayer to speech as words build worlds. Anything you ask Hashem is possible, so ask!

The JWRP group of women then left the building and followed the stairway downstairs in absolute silence. Our thoughts did not want to be interrupted. Touching the ancient stone of the holy site invoked a spiritual connection that was unmistakable. We were on holy ground.

After lunch we made our way up the Jerusalem Hills to Yad Vashem. A memorial museum where I had never been. Our guide David asked the group the question, "Do any of you have parents who are survivors of the Holocaust?" Cautiously I raised my hand as I realised for the first time in my life that my Dad, Avi was in fact a survivor from Bulgaria. A little known fact that amazingly, of the entire Jewish population in Bulgaria 48 000 people survived the Holocaust and were saved from imminent death by Tsar Boris who was persuaded from deporting his Jews and rather sent his Jews to forced labour camps. In 1948 the majority of this community left Bulgaria for Israel.

My most devastating image was one of two little sisters standing together in the Warsaw Ghetto. Their emaciated faces and spindly limbs an image of starvation and sickness.


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