Thee, I Cry
By Rabbi Asher Brander
I am sure psychologists call is some fancy term, but permit me my own:
Delayed Cry Reaction (DCR)
Moshe'le (age 4) and Rochel
(age 3) are playing in the park. Moshe falls off the slide and scrapes
himself. It hurts – really. Mommy couldn't see the fall; she is
schmoozing by the benches at the far end of the park. Moshe wants to
cry, but his youthful machismo tells him it just isn't pas (appropriate)
to cry in front of girls (and kal v'chomer boys). So he sucks it in and
maintains a stiff upper lip. Two minutes later, Mommy comes back. Moshe
melts; the torrential tears flow.
Why does Moshe'le wait? I
sense that quills have been broken to understand this most basic human
reaction. Yet, we all know why. Everyone needs a place to be real. A
mother requires no artifice – it is (and will always be) safe to cry to
Everyone needs a place where
it is alright; no matter what it is... where
it is alright to cry, laugh, hug and be hugged. Without an address for
our tears, God forbid we may just stop crying. (It has been well
documented that orphanage children barely cry).
What does Yerushalayim mean
to the Jew? Can one explain blue to the blind? Is it possible to
intellectualize an experience? For Maharal, Moshe was a stutterer
because no word was able to grasp the profundity of his thought. It is
not merely that all thoughts need not be expressed; many thoughts
simply defy verbal expression.
A friend of mine suffers a
great tragedy. He emails me. "I am flying to Israel - going to the
Kotel. What should I say to God?" I don't respond, never having majored
in Divine dialogue. Many are very moved by the email. What propels him
to the Kotel? We speak afterwards. I say to him that I imagine that you
shed some tears. He laughs and cries - simultaneously. Why?
The Kotel is the closest
approximation to the Divine embrace. It is without artifice. The
Shechina, with all her consummate rachmanus has never left
A rationalist might smirk:
The Kotel is what you make of it . They jokingly proclaim: Some of
my closest friends daven at the "kotel" everyday (they live in Los
Angeles). I feel bad for them. They suffer from Galut Stress Syndrome.
Daven for them. They live without a place to cry.
Among the many reasons I
celebrate Yom Yerushalayim is because now I have a place to cry.
V'Tikonein Yerushalayim B'mehira B'yameinu Amein