My Visit to the Kotel

By Erielle Warshowsky

[When] my Pilgrimage group visited the Kotel, [it] was a very powerful experience.

With all of the negativity regarding Western Wall politics right now, I was extremely surprised to leave feeling empowered. The girls of my group created a protective circle and we each had the chance to wear tallit (prayer shawl) and say the Shema.

I have never been more proud to be a Jew–how lucky we are to be able to be openly Jewish and feel safe when practicing our religion. While we received one negative comment from a passerby who told us we don’t need tallitot to say the Shema, we embraced the many positive responses we received from those who saw us.

I know that there will be a time when people of all backgrounds can live together in peace, and hope that time is soon to come.