Friday, July 24, 2009

Tweet the Kotel. No, really.

Up and running since the beginning of the month is a new, revolutionary service in the name of prayer. A spiritually ambitious website called Tweet Your Prayers @TheKotel, is offering anyone – Jews, gentiles, whoever – with Internet access the ability to use popular social-networking site Twitter, to send an e-prayer for printout and then insertion into The Kotel.

The Twitter site can be found here.

Here's their mission statement:

First and foremost, our mission is to give anyone on earth the opportunity to place his prayers in the Kotel.

For hundreds of years people of the Jewish faith have been placing notes between the Western Wall’s stones, notes containing their wishes and prayers. People of other faiths too tend to practice this tradition when they visit the holy city Jerusalem. It is believed by many that the wall serves as a direct channel to the Almighty.

When we created a user account for the Kotel (as it is called by Jews) we had several intentions in mind. First, and foremost, it was to use the popularity and prevalence of Twitter in order to make the Kotel more accessible to people around the world. It seemed perfectly sensible, almost trivial, to provide anyone on the planet the opportunity to quickly and easily place his prayer in the Kotel. Tweeting only takes a few seconds; it’s substantially easier, quicker and cheaper than hopping on a plane to Israel.

For the moment, the creator and administrators of this service have chosen to remain anonymous. Here's how they've addressed this mystery on the site's FAQ page:

We believe the Wall is too big and sacred to have human names associated with it. Furthermore, prior to launching this service, several people indicated in personal conversations that users might not feel comfortable using this service if they knew the names of the people conveying their prayers.

We would say this service was conceived by a young man from Tel-Aviv, who is also responsible to most of the online activity. Aiding him are good people in Jerusalem who actually put the notes in the Wall.

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