Question of the Week:
I am just back from my big trip to Israel. I thought I'd never get there. I think it's the first Jewish thing I've done since my bar mitzvah (which wasn't so Jewish either).
But here's the weird part. I went to the Wall in Jerusalem, and you know me, I'm the last person to have a "spiritual experience". But as I approached the Wall I started to cry uncontrollably. I felt this strange magnetism towards the Wall, almost as if G-d was pulling me. What do you think? Not bad for an agnostic, huh?
You have a powerful Jewish soul, and you caught a glimpse of its power at the Wall.
The Wall is the last remnant of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. While ransacking Jerusalem 2000 years ago, the Romans burnt the Temple, and knocked down its stone walls. But one wall refused to budge, the Western Wall. The sages predicted long ago that the Western Wall will never be destroyed. It represents a holiness that no foreign power can ever touch. They can destroy the Temple, but there is something that is beyond their reach, a divine presence that never leaves Jerusalem.
The Kabbalists teach that man is a microcosm. Whatever exists in the world, can be found within ourselves. If there is a Wall that is so holy that it can never be destroyed, then within us must also be a spark of holiness that can never be lost. This is our spark of Jewishness, the essence of the Jewish soul. Our soul may be surrounded by foreign invaders - skepticism, ignorance, scars from negative Jewish experiences - but it nevertheless remains intact. Nothing can extinguish the Jewish spark, it is always there waiting to be ignited.
Even an agnostic Jew who has been dislocated from his spiritual heritage for generations, is Jewish at the deepest level of his being. Nothing can take that away. Eventually, if he allows it, that innate Jewishness will surface.
Everyone has a different catalyst that ignites this spark. In your case, the microcosm met the macrocosm. Your Jewish spark, the indestructible presence of G-d within you, was awakened at the Wall, the indestructible presence of G-d in the world. I guess it's not surprising that many have had that experience.
Now it's up to you. You have been given a gift. You have come face to face with your soul. These experiences don't happen often. But once you have discovered the Holy Wall within yourself, you can start to rebuild your inner Temple around it, so that sense of holiness will never be lost again. That's the secret of faith. You don't get it from the outside, you discover it within yourself. It was always there.