Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Wailing Wall

After leaving the Temple Mount, we made our way down to The Wailing Wall (or Western Wall). This is the holiest shrine in the Jewish world today, as it is the only portion remaining of the wall that Herod built around western side of the Temple Mount. The rest of the wall was destroyed in 70 AD when Titus of Rome came and destroyed the entire city of Jerusalem.

The remaining portion of the wall is about 60 feet high and about 60 yards wide. Almost anytime of the day you will see Jews at the wall praying, however, the largest crowds come on Friday evening as the Sabbath begins for them. Men and women are separated as they go up to the wall to pray. We were allowed to go all the way up to the wall and it was rather interesting (and a bit uncomfortable) to watch the people praying. I saw several ladies literally bawling. Since it is very crowded (as it is a tourist site), many people rock back and forth in order to concentrate better as they pray. I know I personally would have a difficult time praying with all the people around! It also made me sad to see the thousand upon thousands of prayers that the Jews write down and stuff into the cracks of the Wailing Wall. They do this as they think that this wall is very sacred and that God will hear and answer them.

the ladies side...

The men's side...every man (Jew or not) has to put on those white hats as they go up to the wall.

We were able to get a night shot as well, as we came back in the evening to go through the Rabbi's Tunnel which is below the wall.

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