(cc) surrealisrael.com Temple Western Wall

Temple Western Wall

Prayers during the nigh at the Jerusalem Old City’s Second Temple Western Wall.

The Western Wall (Hebrew: הכותל המערבי‎, translit.: HaKotel HaMa’aravi), sometimes referred to as the Wailing Wall or simply the Kotel, is an important Jewish religious site located in the Old City of Jerusalem. 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 to the Jewish people. The remaining layers were added from the 7th century onwards.

The sages state that anyone who prays in the Temple in Jerusalem, “it is as if he has prayed before the throne of glory because the gate of heaven is situated there and it is open to hear prayer”. Jewish Law dictates that when Jews pray the Silent Prayer, they should face east, towards Jerusalem, the Temple and ultimately the Holy of Holies, as all of God’s bounty and blessing emanates from that spot. According to the Mishna (part of the Talmud, collective of Jewish religious laws), of all the four walls of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall was the closest to the Holy of Holies and therefore that to pray by this Wall is particularly “beneficial”.

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