Western Wall Jerusalem
Being at the Western Wall Jerusalem
The site that is the most sacred to the Jewish religion is the Western Wall. Jerusalem is the city where the temple was built.
This remnant is where Jewish people come to pray in their own unique way. They come from the farthest regions of the earth to say their prayers at this site. Many non-Jewish visitors are deeply touched by the sincere devotion of the Jews praying at the Western Wall.
It was King David who chose the site. But it was only his son King Solomon who built the temple and the Wall. In accordance with Torah (the Holy Book) the temple was built on high ground. This meant that anyone going to the temple would have to ‘go up’. This is expressed in the physical and in prayers and blessings. The actual ground used for the temple was on Mount Moriah.
The wall has a number of names:
Hakotel HaMa’aravi (Hebrew)
The Kottel (Jewish)
The Wailing Wall (non-Jewish)
The Western Wall (international)
All people observe the following requests when visiting this holy site:
1. On Sabbath & Jewish religious holidays avoid smoking, photography or cell
2. Modest dress should be worn at all times
3. No animals will be allowed to enter (guiding dogs are exception)
In the Beginning
According to Jewish tradition many important events took place on Mount Moriah:
a. The start of creation was from the stone (Foundation Stone) at the tip of the mountain.
b. Adam, the first human being was created on Mount Moriah.
c. Abraham bound Isaac on the top of Mount Moriah (the Foundation Stone)
d. Jacob’s ladder was linked to Mount Moriah
The center point of the temple was called the Holy of Holies. It was built around the Foundation Stone. Some people are quick to say the Western Wall Jerusalem one of four retaining walls. They also say the wall is not actually a part of the temple. But it is because the Western Wall is the closest remnant to the place of the Holy of Holies. This is what makes it sacred.
The Holy of Holies housed the Ark of the Covenant. It was a chest that kept the tablets with the Ten Instructions inscribed. It is also where the Divine Presence rested. It is easy to understand why the Western Wall Jerusalem is so special and sacred. To this day millions of people believe the Divine Presence still rests at the Western Wall in a most special way.
A Later Event
The Western Wall in Jerusalem is also important to Muslims. The followers of Islam call the wall El-Burak. El-Burak is the name of a winged horse. It is said the horse was smaller than a colt but larger than a donkey. This creature carried their prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him).
This mystical journey is called the Night Journey or Asra. The winged horse flew from Mecca to Jerusalem. Mohammed (peace be upon him) tied the horse to the Western Wall Jerusalem. He then went into a cave to meet with Moses, Elijah, Jesus and other prophets. where He saw the destiny of man in the afterlife.
Life at the Wall
The Western Wall has the soft golden glow of Jerusalem stone. It is a busy place. People are coming and going all day long. The area is open twenty four hours a day and three hundred and sixty five days of the year. The sound of prayer fills the air as men and women pray. The wall is divided into a section for men and a section for women.
Ever since the temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 BCE Jews have mourned. Hundreds of people gather daily at the Western Wall to pray. They also insert pieces of paper with names and prayers into the cracks in the wall. Often these are from people who live on the other side of the world. A modern way is to email a prayer.
Two thousand years or more and the Western Wall is still standing. It is a powerful symbol of endurance. In some places the stone has been rubbed smooth by the fingers that have caressed them in prayer and supplication. Many Jewish boys and girls have their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at the Kottel.
The never ending stream of people to the Wall is proof of how important it still is to millions of people.
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