I’m writing these words in Jerusalem, just a few moments after officiating at a congregant’s bar mitzvah at the Wall in Jerusalem. (We were delayed this morning about 45 minutes because the Secret Service would not let us leave our hotel until President Obama, who is staying just up the street, had left for the day.) It is always wonderful to be in Jerusalem, but there is something extraordinary about passing the Torah from generation to generation in the shadow of the Wall. As I explained this morning, the difference between visiting other countries and visiting Israel is that the history you learn here is our history, and the people who made this history are our ancestors. They are on each one of our family trees. The people who stood on these very paving stones by the Wall were our great great great etc. grandparents. The words of the Torah we read are exactly the same as the ones they read 2000 years ago. The sense of connection and of history and continuity is palpable. Though I am leaving here before Shabbat comes in, I will carry with me the spirit of Jerusalem, and I hope to share it with you as we celebrate Shabbat at TBA.