Michael Skir

western wall-wailing wall

We arrived in Jerusalem, a city of colors, religious scents, a different and special city, today we will walk in the Western Wall, I will try to give you more and more details about the Western Wall that you did not know. Just like walking with a private tour guide.

 The Western Wall is one of the remains of the mighty retaining walls that Herod built about 1500 feet each.  Herod built the retaining walls in the shape of a trapezoid. The original height of the Western Wall was about 60 m (180 feet). The total height of the Western Wall today is about 30 m ( 90 feet).
The largest stone, about 14 m (45 feet) long, is located in the Western Wall tunnels “Nidbach Raba” (the great stone), which weighs about 600 tons and is used as a supporting stone for the Western Wall itself.

The continuation of the Western Wall reaches the Wilson Arch, which was used as a passage from the upper city or the district to the Temple Mount.

The differences between the courtyard of the Temple and the Western Wall plaza are 8 meters (24 feet).
You can see the square “edging” of the stones that is so typical of Herod,and it’s known as Herod’s “stamp”
 The length of the Western Wall plaza is only about 60 m (180 feet)south towards is  Davidson Archaeological Park, where the length of the western retaining wall is about 80 m. The entire length of the wall is below the Western Wall tunnels.

In the Western Wall plaza itself, about 7 Herodian courses are covered.
 4 Umayyad dynasty courses (634 AD) while the upper ones consist of smaller stones about 13  courses were built in the Ottoman period.
 The Western Wall, like the other walls, was not built vertically but at an angle so that it would create stronger support into the mountain, and thus be stronger.

 In the early Muslim period, the Mount of Olives was considered the most important Jewish holy place
The tradition regarding the ascension of the Shechinah -presence of god ,the place of the resurrection of the dead according to the book of Ezekiel 11 and Zechariah, therefore it was the Mount of Olives for a place of sublime prayer, and later also for individual prayer.
Large crowds used to come to the Mount of Olives to mourn the Temple Mount destruction and blow the shofar.
During the Crusader period, Jewish rituals on the Mount of Olives were banned, and during the Ayyubid period
 And the Mamluk, after the Jewish settlement in Jerusalem the Jews began to return again to the Mount of Olives on “3 Regalim “Pessover, Shavuot ,Tabernacle and on Tisha B’Av The Mount of Olives became a place in those years
 An ideal prayer, in front of the temple site.
 The first evidence of prayer at the Western Wall is from Benjamin Metudela from the 11th century …
 First evidence  of Jews at the Western Wall is from Moshe Furyit 1650 he writes “” We standAnd pray at some distance from the Western Wall, for from the holiness we do not approach “every Monday and Thursday after the morning prayer,
And every Shabbat and Yom Tov after Mincha (noon prayer), go to the place in front of the Western Wall and pray
There under the open sky, we go to the Western Wall itself because of the holiness “
 Since the return of the Jewish Quarter to the “Western Hill”, Jews have also returned to pray in the northwestern section of the Western Wall.  For prayer in front of the Western Wall, and from this point in time the Western Wall becomes a synagogue area, and slowly expels the women from its area. this is was not customary before.
Western wall’s riots in 1929 were one of the reasons for the out break of the the massacre of the Jews by the Arabs on Yom Kippur
September 23, 1928 the prayers wanted to place a partition between men and women but this was contrary to the status quo and agitated the Muslim masses in the mountain area, the British Mandate insisted  For their part. Muslim’s renovations began on the Temple Mount and the entrance path in the Mughrabi neighborhood was opened and the friction between Jews and Muslims increased.

The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haag Amin al-Husseini, published an poster of the Dome of the Rock with a Star of David above it, claiming that the Jews were trying to take over the Temple Mount.
In August 1929, physical assaults began on the Jews and the Mufti declared that every Jew killed would gain a place in the next world.

These were the preludes to the 1929 riots that broke out across the country.
The Jews usually insert notes with requests between the stones of the Western Wall, due to the sanctity of the place and the power of faith, the Jews believe that their wishes will come true.
Not only Jews bury their requests but also Christians and other religions.
The custom dates back to the 18th century.
Every year, about a million notes are buried among the stones of the Western Wall.
Once a year, in the run-up to Rosh Hashanah and Pesach, the Rabbi of the Western Wall and his assistants remove the notes with sticks so as not to damage the Western Wall stones and bring them bury ,to the archive in the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

Leave a Reply