Having run this project for over a decade now, I often get told personal stories of people doing 40-days themselves (and am frequently answering halachic questions on the particulars of doing the 40-days).
The other day a friend told me a beautiful story. She has never been married and has been dating for over 20 years. Her sister was also unmarried and dating for what seemed to be an eternity. Thinking only of her sister, my friend decided to do the 40-days for her. Now, if you have ever done the 40-days, you know that it is a massive commitment and overhaul of your life. If it is not your first priority, you will more than likely miss a day and have to start all over again. You also must plan 5-6 Shabbosim near the Old City and cannot be away from Jerusalem for more than a day the entire time. You also cannot miss sundown and should keep a chart to be sure.
In short, this is no easy or simple task!
Day in and day out, she did this. Climbing and descending those Kotel stairs. “Hashem, please bring my sister her husband!” After 40 days, she waited and watched together with her sister. Nothing happened.
She continued to feel the pain of her sister’s loneliness.
She resolved to do the 40-day prayer segula again. 5-6 Shabbosim near the Old City. No leaving Jerusalem for over a month. Never missing sundown at the Kotel for 40 days. All over again. “Please Hashem let my sister marry her soul-mate!” Baruch Hashem she was successful – all 40 were done in a row! When she was finished, again she watched and waited. Still nothing.
She remained steadfast and determined. If 80 days wasn’t enough, she thought, I’ll do 120. If 120 isn’t enough – I’ll do 160.
She booked another 40 days out of her life to be close to the Kotel and faithfully checked off her chart as she poured out her heart at the Kotel daily for her sister to get married. On day 40 at the Kotel, while she was davening, she actually experienced a beautiful presence come over her and felt that her prayers had been accepted.
Low and behold, she was right. Shortly after, her sister became engaged and married a wonderful man.
Kol hakavod is all I can say! Always accept your judgement as being for the best, but never take no for answer when it comes to hishtadlut in prayer!
We certainly won’t!
With blessings and love from Jerusalem,
Batya Burd and Your Western Wall Prayers Family