Confiscated from . . .
Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life
by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal
The news of his father’s death came as a shock to Joey. They hadn’t spoken since he’d turned 19 and had questioned his family’s traditional Jewish beliefs.
To Joey’s father, there could be no greater disgrace than to doubt such a time-honored philosophy. He threatened to end their relationship unless his son accepted his roots and stopped his questioning. Joey found that he couldn’t meet his dad’s demands, so he left home to explore the world. He and his father never spoke again.
It was in a small cafe in India that a friend found Joey and shared the news of Joey’s father’s death. This was the first that Joey knew of his passing. He immediately returned home and began to explore his Jewish heritage.
Deeply moved by new insights into his background and his father, Joey found himself making plans for a personal pilgrimage to the land where the roots of his family’s traditions began: He was on his way to Israel.
Joey found himself at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, the portion of an ancient temple enclosure that remained following the temple’s destruction nearly 2,000 years ago. It’s here that Orthodox Jews go to worship each day, repeating the words of the same prayers that have been spoken for centuries.
Joey had written a note to his father, declaring his love and asking forgiveness for the pain that he had caused his family. Following the custom, he’d planned to leave his note in one of the many cracks and crevices that were formed when the original mortar fell away from between the stones.
It was when Joey found just the right place to leave his note that something amazing happened — something that has no rational explanation in the eyes of Western science.
As Joey put his note in the wall, another paper suddenly fell from between the stone, landing at his feet. It was a prayer that someone else had written and placed in the wall weeks or possibly even months before. As Joey reached for the rolled-up paper, an odd feeling came over him.
When Joey opened the note and began to read its contents, he recognized the handwriting — it was his father’s! The note that Joey held was one that his dad had written and left in the wall before his death.
In it, he had declared his love for his son and asked God for forgiveness. At some time in the not-too-distant past, Joey’s father had traveled to the very spot where Joey found himself at that moment. In an ironic twist of synchronicity, his father had placed his prayer in that same precise location within the wall, where it had remained until Joey walked by.