During the Ten Days of Repentance, the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, thousands of Jews traditionally visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem for Selichot (penitential prayers).
A special prayer service was at the Wall held this week, advertised in posters throughout the city of Jerusalem, attended by people from all over the country. It was led by the Rabbi of the city of Tzfat, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, the son of the late Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu.
The sound of the shofar was not heard during this particular service; rather, Rav Eliyahu asked the participants to cry out together to G-d instead because of the many difficulties besetting the Jewish people and the state of Israel at the start of this new year.
“We’re lifting our voices to G-d,” Rav Eliyahu explained. “We’re shouting out to him like a baby shouting out to his father. When a baby cries, his father understands him. His mother understands him. This how we shout out to G-d. Without talking.”
“We pray to G-d that the prayer will not just take place here at the Kotel [Western Wall, ed.] but in the actual Holy Temple, on the Temple Mount,” added Rav Eliyahu. “May it be rebuilt quickly and in our time. Amen.”
The rabbi also had a blessing for the people of Israel on the occasion of the new year.
“We want to wish everyone the strength of happiness, the strength of blessing. Chatima Tova to the entire people of Israel. May they be inscribed in the book of redemption, in the book of righteousness, in the book of blessing and good living.”