GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Praying in Jerusalem — via Twitter

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For centuries, Jews have written prayers on slips of paper and tucked them into Jerusalem’s Western Wall, hoping God would grant them. Now, Tweet Your Prayers automates this bit of devotion.

The process is pretty much what you’d expect. First, open a Twitter account, then sign up for the free service, which is called The Kotel (the Hebrew name for the Western Wall.) Then “follow” the site, and it will follow you back. Now CB018239you’re set up for prayer-tweeting.

The beauty of the process, as with anything online, is that your message arrives instantly. (But the Kotel folks in Jerusalem still have to print the requests and physically place them in the Wall.)

The downside? You have to keep it to Twitter’s limit of 140 characters. Any longer requests require fax or snail mail. The Jewish Agency for Israel says the nation’s phone company keeps a fax line for the Kotel: 972-2-5611-2222. (I haven’t tried it, though.)

Jews may find Tweet Your Prayers handy for getting on God’s good side before the High Holy Days. Still, as founders of the service note, lots of non-Jews have prayed at the wall, too — including President Obama and the last two popes.

Naturally, the founders don’t guarantee your prayers will be answered. As they say in a FAQ file: “Take it up with the Big Guy upstairs. We’re just the middle-men!”


Written by Jim Davis

September 3, 2009 at 3:59 am

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