Just an hour after this picture was taken at noon this afternoon, the Churva synagogue was filled to the brim with school boys and neighbourhood residents all called together to recite psalms for more than an hour, in lieu of the potential strike by Syria and our enemies.
On the other side of the city, hundreds stood in line for hours, unsuccessfully trying to get their gas masks just as a precaution in the event of a strike.
People are always in a good mood and easily taken into a talk about spirituality here.
The month of Elul is in the air. We jump from Torah class to class, each with another idea about what is the best thing to try and fix in our character traits and Divine service in the last few days we have left until judgment day (Rosh Hashanah).
I sat at the Western Wall this morning and in business-like fashion, wrote out a list of all the possible things I could have done wrong this year, and all of the possible people I could have wronged this year. As I spoke aloud what I did and that I was truly sorry for it and never wanted to do it again, I crossed it off and went to the next, making sure to feel that it impacted my heart. I then went home and wrote a very difficult apology letter to a person I knew was upset at me (even though I quite honestly felt that I was the one who should be getting an apology). I attempted to get into her head-space and justify her, even if I technically did not have to.
When my kids got nervous today after their prayer session, I said they could take comfort in doing one thing to make shalom (peace) between them and each other in our home, so the Holy One will emulate us and make peace with our enemies.
I implore each one of you who reads this to do the same. Do one act to make peace with another person who feels either that you have wronged them, or forgive someone who you feel has wronged you. Even if you are right. Do it for the sake of the peace of the world. Making peace is greater than doing repentance. Maybe it will be in your merit.
With blessings from Jerusalem,