The Kotel at Night

Transliterated, the title of this post reads “Avir harim tsalul ka’yayin…” These are the opening words of Naomi Shemer’s song, Jerusalem of Gold. As soon as I hear that refrain, I immediately start to mist up. What can I say, I’m a softie that way. Last Tuesday, I accompanied a friend to the Kotel who wanted to go and say a prayer for a sick relative. Having no shortage of sick people in my life who needed prayers, the decision was a no-brainer. Also, I live within walking distance of the Kotel and I should go because… I can!

ck at the kotelIt was late and the mountain air was indeed clear as wine (just like the song!). Crispy cold too. The Kotel Plaza was deliciously deserted – even the small women’s section had available wall space. I went and davened Ma’ariv (evening prayers) with a small group at the wall and then I communed with the Shekhina and sent good wishes to all my loved ones and friends. It was a sublime experience and I felt bad for those who are too far away to share this with me.

Yet as I come today to sing to you, and to adorn you with crowns
I am not as worthy as your youngest child, or as the last of the poets
For your name will scorch my lips like a seraph’s kiss
if I forget thee, Jerusalem, golden in your entirety.

Sometimes, everything is just perfect. I hope to see you all here. Soon.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • I cannot think of anything more moving than the Kotel square, on a crisp cool evening. You are lucky to be so close, and your description made me long to be their too.

  • One of my favorite melodies ever! And when I’m in Jerusalem singing it, it’s so much sweeter!

  • Refuah shelemah to all those who require healing. And if we’re sharing song lyrics, I’ve always been moved by the closing words of “Hakotel”: “yesh anashim im lev shel even; yesh avanim im lev adam…(there are men who have hearts of stone, and then there are stones with the hearts of men).”

  • I’ve always been moved by the words “do that to me one more time…” but hey, that just me.

  • Amen!

    Mia, I couldn’t have said it any better.
    Thanks for sharing the moment, ck. It’ll be a long time before I can ever be there, so I hope your words will last just as long…