The Western Wall (Kotel) is constructed of limestone. The edges of the stones have a kind of chiseled border around them, a design typical of King Herod (first century BCE) who built the wall as a retaining wall for the Temple Mount. Notice that there is no cement or mortar holding them together. As you look up, the stones get smaller. This is because stones were added over the centuries. The base of the wall is actually about twenty feet below ground.
One of the stones is more than 40 feet long, and weighs 400 tons. This is the largest stone ever quarried by man - nothing near its size exists in Greece, in the pyramids, or in Manhattan. No crane today can even lift such a stone. How it got there is an engineering marvel. Others stones are over 100 tons. These stones can be viewed in the archeological tunnels that have been opened in the past few years.
One theory is that the quarry was located to the north of the Temple Mount and at a higher elevation, so that the builders could push the stones into place using the lever and pulley systems existent at the time.
"Jewish tradition teaches that the Temple
Mount is the focal point of Creation.
In the center of the mountain lies the
"Foundation Stone" of the world.
Here Adam came into being.
Here Abraham, Isaac and Jacob served God.
The First and Second Temples were built
upon this mountain.
The Ark of the Covenant was set upon the
Foundation Stone itself.
Jerusalem was chosen by God as the dwelling
place of the Shechinah.
David longed to build the Temple, and
Solomon his son built the First Temple here
about 3000 years ago.
It was destroyed by Nevuchadnezzar
The Second Temple was rebuilt on its ruins
seventy years later.
It was razed by the Roman legions over
1900 years ago.
The present Western Wall before you is a
remnant of the western Temple Mount
Jews have prayed in its shadow for
hundreds of years, an expression of their
faith in the rebuilding of the Temple.
The Sages said about it: "The Divine Presence
never moves from the Western Wall."
The Temple Mount continues to be the focus
of prayer for Jews from all over the world."
There are tables set up with additional prayer materials, and I saw women young and old, daviting or crying, chanting or standing in silence before the Wall....and I thought about how it has been like this for so long....and I saw little pieces of paper folded up, sealed shut with a kiss and wedged into whatever empty crevasse is accessible in the Wall, or on the floor before the Wall...I desperately wanted to read every one of those prayers - I was curious to know what was on each woman's mind....it was a really strange feeling to be in the middle of that, isolated and yet connected on some deeper spiritual level.
If this wall doesn't bowl you over, then seeing the people worshipping there will.
To get to the Western Wall, you must pass through the Israeli guards, where you'll be frisked and your backpack or purse searched. This is not because it's a dangerous area to be - it's just a standard security precaution for which I am appreciative. Once you pass Security, you'll be walking across the open plaza where straight ahead and beyond some buildings, you can see a glimpse of the Dome of the Rock.
To your right is the famous Western Wall (dubbed Wailing Wall both for the tragedies that have befallen it and its people, as much as for the actual crying that goes on there today). I was so excited to be there that I charged right through to the men's section - I had no idea it is cordoned off by gender! When I crossed over to my designated "womens' section", I went right up to the wall (sometimes if it's crowded, you have to search for your little piece!) and passed my hand across it, trying to absorb what centuries of mystery and history can transmit to the human soul in search of itself and its Maker....I lay my face against the wall and breathed in the smell of it and the sounds of the other women praying and touching it and the reverberations of the hundreds of hopes and wishes pinned against it....it really can move you to tears.
The western wall (also known as the wailing wall and in hebrew it is Ha'kotel Ha'Ma'aravi is a holy place for the jewish people because it is the remains of the holy temple of the jews (Beit Ha'mikdash).
The wall is something like 20 meters high and is very close to the muslim's holy place Al-aqsa mosque and the dome of the rock.
Jews from Israel and from all over the world come to pray in this place , they put a small paper with a wish for god.
btw - this is also a holy place for the muslims because Muhamed the prophet came here and his horse stayed here while he went to the Al Aqsa mosque and they call it Al Buraq.
The Western Wall is also known as the Wailing Wall or simply the Kotel, and as al-Buraaq Wall in Arabic. It is an important Jewish religious site located in the Old City.
Just over half the wall, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, being constructed around 19 BCE by Herod the Great. The remaining layers were added from the 7th century onwards.
In Judaism the Western Wall is venerated as the sole remnant of the Holy Temple. It has become a place of pilgrimage for Jews. So the Western Wall Plaza is always full of people – Jews and Christian pilgrims and tourists.
You can watch my 8 min 41 sec HD Video Jerusalem Wailing Wall Pesakh out of my Youtube channel.
The Wailing Wall or Western Wall was once a wall of the great Jewish temple, which was located there for more than 500 years. Herod began rebuilding and adding on to the temple,around 19 BC, the total work was only finished about fifty years later . The temple itself was destroyed by the Romans only a few years after its completion.
It is thought by Jews to be the most sacred of places, because the temple itself was thought to be the place where God resides on earth. Praying at the Wailing Wall means being in the presence of the Divine. Jews from all countries, and as well as tourists of other religions, come to pray at the wall, where it is said one immediately has the “ear of god.” Those, who cannot come to the wall can send their prayers, written on small papers. They are placed into the cracks of the walls and are called tzetzels. There is usually a small charge for this service.
The name "Wailing Wall" is a Christian term. The Jews refer to the wall as the Western Wall or Kotel HaMaaravi. Though the Wailing Wall has been considered the holiest of places on earth for Jews, it has also been the source of grief and war.
The towering Western Wall is the last remnant of the ancient Jewish temples that stood on the Temple Mount. It was built by King Herod, as an addition to the Temple of Solomon, and is considered the holiest shrine in Judaism. It's also a reason for great sorrow due to the rest of the temple's destruction by the Romans (hence the nickname "Wailing Wall")
On Shabbat thousands of people pray in what is effectively an open-air synagogue, but during the weekdays it's quieter and a bit less impressive. Many worshippers write prayers and messages on paper and stick them between the cracks of the enormous building blocks. Many of the more religious visitors do actually wail and cry as they sink their heads against the rock face.
It's open 24 hours a day, with separate entrances for men and women.
Our visit to the "Wailing Wall" was towards late afternoon and it was still crowded. Visitors can walk up to the Wailing Wall, but custom says you must have your head covered. Disposable hats are available.
Some members of our group went down to the wall, however we observed respect and looked on from a distance.
Many people put small pieces of paper, containg their special prayer, into cracks in the wall.
This is the remain of the outer wall of the Second Temple's courtyard.
Jews from all over the world for centuries come here to pray and mourn as well as to tuck their written pleas and prayers into its crevices. (Or order them via email or fax!)
You need to cover yourself here as well.
The wall is a part of the Temple Mount built by Herod the Great
The holiest of holy places of Israel is The Jerusalem Western Wall. The Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, is the remains of a vast retaining wall built by Herod around the Temple Mount; this is the most visible structure remaining from The Second Temple (517 BCE - 70 CE). It attracts thousands of Jewish worshippers daily, who come to pray and lay out their problems and seek for heavenly guidance.
It is believed the Divine Presence of G-d rests on the Western Wall more than other places by virtue of its proximity to the Western Wall of the Holy of Holies in the Temple. (Exodus 2:2 and Song of Songs 2:4)
The entrance to and the area in front of the wall is separated by gender. When I was there (the first time - we made several trips back to the Wall during our stay in Jerusalem), there were Bar Mitzvah ceremonies going on, which we women could only observe by standing on a chair and looking over the separating wall...
It is believed that if you write a prayer on a slip of paper and place it into the cracks of the Wall, the prayer goes directly to G-d. The notes are collected twice a year and buried on the Mount of Olives. Someone on our tour bus asked if we, as Christians, could place a prayer in the Wall; our tour guide smiled and replied "we share the same G-d".
The most sacred spot in Judaism - the remaining wall of the second temple. A huge plaza (tight security) afronts the place of worship, as orthodox and religious jews congregate throughout the day to pray. As men and women are not allowed to pray together, it is segregated between the genders.
Friday evenings are the best time to visit as shabbat sets in, with many thousands flocking to the Kotel (Hebrew name), the sound of the faithful singing, their songs and prayers cutting through the air, or Tuesdays - the official days of the Bar Mitzvas (although they happen every day of the week except Saturday).
Heads must be covered to approach the wall - if you do not have your own kipa or not wearing a cap, kipot are provided.
There's an undercover section (in the men's part) which also reveals the depth of the wall that continues below the present day floor level.
Security is extremely tight to access the square. Worth aiming to go through the Old City rather than the Dung Gate entrance. The latter has become the main entrance for groups etc and there can be a long wait.
The wailing wall or western wall for jewish is a wall 488 meters high and it is what remains of the second temple of Jerusalem.
This is the most important religious site for jewish and it attracts thousends of people from all over the world that comes here to pray next to the wall and to put peces of paper with prayer or good will messages into the wall craves.
It has beel built by king Herod more than 200 years ago and since 1967 it is under Israeli control.Before accessing the wall you have to go through metal detector and your bag into x ray control.
The Kotel is a Important jewish monument, Is very interesting to know the history that is behind, is the only part that is left of Second Temple's built by Herod the Great.
Also is very nice to see how on the top of the wall you can see the musulm temple and how diferent cultures are so close.