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Singing, Yearning in Lamentations at the Western Wall

A night of grieving, a night of unity as the people of Israel came together to yearn for what was, and what is yet to be.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 7/29/2012, 3:26 PM

A night of grieving, a night of chanting. A night of unity as the people of Israel came together to yearn for what was, and what is yet to be.

Thousands gathered at the Western Wall Saturday night for prayers and lamentations over the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem, on Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av.

The fast -- and its associated lamentations -- had been postponed this year for one day because the date fell on the Sabbath, a time when it is forbidden to mourn, and forbidden to fast except for Yom Kippur. 

So the mourners waited until nightfall, and then filled the Western Wall Plaza until it was overflowing. And as the prayers rose to the heavens, so too did the swell of emotion among the Jews from all walks of life, who had streamed back to the Land of Israel from the four corners of the globe.

And for a moment in time, together they began to chant, and to pray and to sing in groups together as one. Yemenites. Chassidim. Bnei Akiva. And so many more. All together as one People with one purpose. 

One desperate longing for the Geula -- the Redemption. One hope in the promise to our ancestors made by the Creator millenia ago that the Messiah will come, and that a Third Holy Temple will be built upon the ashes of the Temples that were destroyed.