Throughout the ages, and especially on Tisha B’Av, Jews have always gathered at the Kosel HaMaaravi, (the Western Wall ), to pour out their hearts to Hashem and to ask Him to draw us close once again. We know that to daven at the Kosel is to daven at the holiest site in the world, but do we truly grasp what the Kosel represents? Do we truly understand the significance of having had the Kosel endure all this time from the churban (destruction of the Temple) until today?
The sefer Emuna V’Hashgacha explains, based on the teachings of the Vilna Gaon, that the Kosel HaMaaravi is the “luz bone” of the Jewish nation.
What is the luz bone? The sefer Taamei HaMinhagim cites the Eliyahu Rabah that explains that each person has a tiny bone within called the luz bone. When a person dies the entire body decays, but the luz bone endures forever without any sign of atrophy. This bone remains connected to a person’s soul even after it has left this world. When the time for Techiyas HaMasim (resurrection of the dead) arrives, it is from this bone that has always maintained its connection with the soul that a new body sprouts forth for the soul to rejoin.
In the same way that this is true for individuals, it is true for the Jewish people. The Beis HaMikdash was always the place where the holiness of Hashem’s Presence was most strongly felt. And from there, it emanated through the Jewish people to the rest of the world. When the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, our connection was severed. The holy body of the collective Jewish people began to atrophy- but not entirely. We still have the Kosel HaMaaravi, our luz bone. Hashem has not abandoned us. He has left us this connection to Him that endures forever. The time will come when, from here, the holiness of Hashem’s Presence will once again spread forth to be felt throughout the world. May it be speedily in our days.
If you are planning on visiting Eretz Yisrael, make the most of your visit in the Eretz HaKodesh, and spend a night or several nights learning with a kollel member in one of Kollel Aish Tamid’s six branches. Please contact Rabbi Calev Unger for details: firstname.lastname@example.org