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Archive for October 1st, 2008

Praying in Jerusalem

The air over Jerusalem is

saturated with prayers and

dreams like the air over

industrial cities.

It is hard to breathe.

I read this verse in a story in Monday’s New York Times (which I read today – that’s how busy I have been) and I wanted to share it because of the way it describes the kinds, quality and quantity of prayer that goes on at this time of year in Jerusalem, a city sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

I have never been to Jerusalem – or anywhere in the Middle East – and I would love to hear from readers who have been there. What was it like to be there? Did it feel, as one of the people in this story says, as if “the heavens are open to our prayers” there more than in other places? What did it feel like to pray or to worship there?

Sadly, on the opposite page of the paper was another story, about the Taliban’s assassination of Malalai Kakar, the highest ranking female police officer in Afghanistan. This story made me want to cry. It made me want to scream. It also made me want, somehow, to confort this woman’s family, friends and colleagues with my own prayers for her. Her name should be a prayer.

What a world.

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