The Western (a.c.a. Wailing) Wall.

The Western wall has been the center of Jewish spiritual life and yearnings for more than 2000 years. It might be the only fragment of the Temple that survived destruction.

This is the retaining wall of the Temple Mount where once the Temple stood built by glorious and wise king Solomon . Later it was destroyed be mighty Babylonians in 586 BC. It was rebuilt in 515 BC though on the smaller scale and reached its peak of splendor and beauty under Herod the Great reconstruction... only to be razed to the ground in 70 AD by the Roman army.

The Temple once stood there, and Abraham, the patriarch and a future "father of many nations", came here, to the "land of Moriah" (Gen.22:2)  to sacrifice his son Isaac.

The prophet Isaiah exclaims:

"Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people." (56:7)

This is the universal place where all the nations were supposed to come and worship the Creator of the Universe and of mankind.

The first to lay the foundations to the universalism of the Temple was king Solomon....

 Solomon exalts his voice while praying in the Temple:

"As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name — for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when he comes and prays toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name." (1Kings 8:41-43)

Even after the Temple was destroyed, the holiness of the place is such that it remains sacred for all humanity. Today, people from all over the world visit the Western Wall, to see, feel and pray, to wedge notes between its walls.

Just only 55 m/180 feet of the Wall is set for the prayers. The whole length of the Wall is around 488m/1600 feet. Another 80 m  streches to the right and is part of Davidson Archaeological park with the famous Temple remains and artefacts. Some 320 m/1000 feet to the left is part of recently discovered Western Wall tunnels. That is where the genuine Herod's masonry stones are revealed  which were laid at the foundations of the Wall.

One of such stones called Nidbach Raba ( the great coarse) is a whole hewn stone, 13.6 m long, 4 m wide, 3 m high. It might weigh around 570 ton! This is a real riddle of history! And a real Wall street too...

 All are equal at the presence of the Wall... When we touch its stones we are linked with the Divine history and the history of the mankind as it has been recorded in the Bible.

For generations it has silently absorbed the prayers of those near and far. This is the most visited site in the Land of Israel.

 

Though...  one of my American friends upon visiting the site had been asked about his feelings, he answered: "Well, it's felt like talking to the wall..."

And by the way do not forget to keep in mind the Jerusalem's psychiatrists description of certain symptoms: "When you talk to God it's called a prayer, but when God talks to you it might be a sign of a malady... "

(Jewish humor)

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