The Western Wall (Ha-Kote Ha-Ma'aravil) What remains of the Last Temple

The Western Wall (Ha-Kotel Ha-Ma'aravi) in Jerusalem is the holiest of Jewish sites, sacred because it is a remnant of the Herodian retaining wall that once enclosed and supported the Second Temple. It has also been called the "Wailing Wall" by European observers because for centuries Jews have gathered here to lament the loss of the temple. (Biblical Hebrews were not able to come because of their captivity. Only in more recent years have Hebrews been able to come to Israel to see what remains of their last temple.)

The Western Wall Plaza, the large open area that faces the Western Wall, functions as an open-air synagogue that can accommodate tens of thousands of worshipers. Prayers take place here day and night, and special services are held here as well.


The Western Wall was built by King Herod in 20 BC during his expansion of the Temple enclosure, and is part of a retaining wall that enclosed the western part of Temple Mount. According to the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus, construction of the walls took 11 years, during which time it rained in Jerusalem only at night so as not to interfere with the workers' progress.
In 70 AD, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple. During the Ottoman Period (beginning in the 16th century), the wall became the Jews' chief place of pilgrimage, where they came to lament the destruction of the Temple.
For centuries, the Western Wall was located in a narrow alley just 12 feet wide that could accommodate only a few hundred densely packed worshipers. But in 1967, immediately after the Six Day War, Israelis leveled the neighboring Arab district to create the Western Wall Plaza, which can accommodate tens of thousands of pilgrims.
At the same time, the Israelis made the wall about 6 1/2 feet higher by digging down and exposing two more tiers of ashlars (squared stones) from the Temple Plaza's retaining wall that had been buried by accumulated debris for centuries. During the restoration of Israel according the various scritures found in the Torah, the Father will bring back all of the dispersed Hebrews of Judah and Jerusalem and replant us in our land. I am greatful for the people who are in the land that are rebuilding Israel and replanting the trees. This is necessarty for our return.


Eliana Batyah said…
It is important to know that the original hebrews have not been in Jerusalem for many hundreds of years since before the 14th Century. We also have to remember the Trans-Atlantic slave trade carried us far from our borders. Now, since we are beginning to awakening to our heritage we can starting putting things into proper perspective. The scriptures concerning our captivity and return will soon be fulfilled.

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