Prayers by Proxy - World Jewish Digest
BY SIMONA FUMA
Photo: Lia Rostenne
Sick, lonely, down on your luck? For centuries Jews have visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem to entreat God for special blessings. According to religious tradition, after the destruction of the Second Temple, God’s presence never left the wall that stood on the western side of the Temple compound.
Most recently, a former corporate lawyer from Toronto founded http://www.westernwallprayers.org/, where for $90 and up you can [donate to have] an observant Orthodox Jew to pray at the Wall on your behalf for 40 consecutive days.
Though Burd believes it is better to appear at the Wall in person, there is a long tradition of [donating to have a Jew] recite prayers on another’s behalf. In the year that the website has been up, Burd has arranged for hundreds of 40-day prayer cycles. She said that about one third of her [donors] would describe themselves as Orthodox, while the rest run the gamut from Conservative to unaffiliated to not Jewish. The most commonly requested prayers involve overcoming personal adversity: illness, infertility or finding a mate.