It's Friday evening at the Kotel. The sky is clear, and there's a little bit of a bite to the air. It's enough after shkiya that you can hear some of the men davening maariv, but still early enough that others are singing and dancing during kabbalat shabbat. The Kotel is completely packed, on both the men's side and the women's.
I'm standing right behind the women's section, waiting to meet my dinner hosts. I've already davened, but I stand and quietly hum along with the large group of girls singing Lecha Dodi. I'm really just watching the other women daven, something I don't often have a chance to do.
In the middle of the women's section, a small group of five girls begins to sing and dance. A few more girls join in. Then a few more. I also join in. Now there are two circles, one inside the other. Soon there are three circles.
Someone reaches out to take my hand. It's a soldier, her gun strapped to her back. She smiles at me. I smile back.
Some girls are wearing blue jeans and sweatshirts. Some are dressed like me. Some are solders in uniforms. Some are married women in snoods or sheitels. Some are young. Some are young at heart. All are singing and all are dancing, holding hands.
Ein od makom...