We've been having a pretty low-key Chanuka here at Casa Baila. But today we decided to mosey on into Jerusalem to see the candlelighting at the Kotel.
I always love the approach down to the kotel, that first sighting. We got there with perfect timing, at dusk, just as the candles were about to be lit.
No, this is not the official Kotel Chanukiya. It's the Chanukiya that's lit up on the side of the Kotel--not sure whose menora it is, probably a Yeshiva.
The Kotel Chanukiya after it was lit.
Here's Rav Shlomo Amar giving a bracha after candlelighting. When he was done, he got off the podium and was treated like a rock star. People were pushing and shoving to shake his hand and touch him. Of course, we're talking about the men. We women just watched.
Anyhoo, after his security detail shooed people away, HaRav Amar lead the Maariv, the evening prayer. I was thrilled to get this shot of him saying the Shema:
I know, I should have been following his prayers, but I couldn't resist the photo op. After the picture was taken though, I settled down to what was a very emotional and inspiring Tefilat Maariv.
The evening wasn't over yet. After we left the Kotel, we walked back through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Menorahs were lit everywhere, casting a beautiful glow against the white stone of that ancient city.
I hope you all enjoyed the holiday as much as I did.
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