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Send Your Prayers to the Western Wall Via iPhone

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Using one’s iPhone as a prayer tool is not necessarily a bad thing. But feeling that it’s necessary to pray, or even to get one’s prayers to the Kotel, the Western Wall, is. I’ll explain, but a bit of background first from the Washington Post’s God in Government column:

It was only a matter of time. There’s now a prayer app for the iPhone. You can send a prayer via the app to be printed out and placed on the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
“The only iPhone app that puts you directly in touch with God,” or so goes the marketing tagline from its creators’ Web site.

And there’s the rub. Claiming that this app, and this one alone, will put you “directly in touch with God” is not only inaccurate, but actually offensive.


Leave aside the $1.99 charge for the service – getting one’s spiritual needs met has cost something since the first humans offered sacrifices to the God’s of their choosing.
The idea that one will be better heard by God because they use this app either means that one is praying to a seriously limited God, or that they are guilt of turning a Jewish holy site into a form of idolatry which allows the sacred space to become God. Either way, don’t be fooled.
If the idea of having your prayers printed out and placed among the stones that make up the Western Wall moves you, then go for it. But please know that for Jews at least, ones prayers are heard when offered from anywhere, and from anyone, when offered with honesty and sincerity. And that piece of information won’t cost you $1.99!



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Comments read comments(5)
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Cully

posted September 30, 2009 at 7:08 pm


This bothers me on more than one level. Yes, as you said, the charge/cost, but even more that anyone would think that they need to pay for the Almighty to hear their prayer. Then, thinking that they need to pay not even wondering (muchless questioning) why – I mean, does the Almighty need money?! Once again, man’s greed trumps what we know in our hearts.



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Diego Nachmann

posted October 2, 2009 at 1:04 pm


Shalom Rabbi Brad,
Do you believe that praying in the Western Wall is different than praying in other places? Here is an article (http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/503718/jewish/Why-pray-at-the-Western-Wall.htm) that explains why do people pray at the Western Wall and let me quote some part of it:
“The question has been asked many times before in classical Jewish literature. Since this is a Chabad site, I’ll provide the answer given by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (circa 1800), the first Rebbe of Chabad.
The essence of his answer is that although G d is everywhere, His light shines stronger in some places than in others. He compares this to the human body: You are everywhere in your body, yet you are far more conscious of your mind than of your toes. So too, in the universe that G d created, there are places, times and states of being where we are able to be more aware of Him–and it is from those places/times/states that our prayers can fly best.”
Send a Prayer users don’t think that they are better heard by God than the rest of the human beings; but they do believe that having a prayer placed among the stones of the Western Wall is something special.
As a Rabbi, somebody may have asked you: Rabbi Brad, I want to pray but I don’t know how to do it. Maybe for the people who have the same question but unfortunately don’t know any Rabbi to ask it, Send a Prayer may be a solution.
I wish you a Chag Sameach,
Diego



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curtis j foth

posted October 5, 2009 at 10:39 am


i am a roman catholic i do not understand all this animosity againgst people of jewish decent!



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Gerald Goldberg

posted October 13, 2009 at 5:41 am


Talking to the Wall
In Jerusalem, an American female journalist heard about an old Rabbi
who visited the Kotel, the Western Wall to pray twice a day every day for over five decades.
In an effort to check out the story, she goes to the holy site and there he is. She watches the old man at prayer and after about 45 minutes, when he turns to leave, she approaches him for an interview. “I’m Rebecca Smith from CNN, sir, how long have you been coming to the Wailing Wall and praying?”
“For about 50 years,” he informs her. “That’s amazing! What do you
pray for?” “I pray for peace between the Jews and Arabs. I pray for all the hatred to stop and I pray for all of our children to grow up in safety and friendship.”
“And how do you feel, sir, after doing this for 50 years?”
“Like I’m talking to a f$£%ing brick wall!”



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peter blackley

posted October 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm


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