Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Western Wall- Jerusalem

View of the Western wall from across the courtyard

When Herod's Temple was destroyed
 by the Romans in 70 AD, 
only the Western Wall remained standing. 
It was once referred to as the Wailing Wall
 because of the many Jews
 who publicly and loudly mourned
 the destruction of their Temple.
 It is now called the "Kotel"
-meaning the "Wall"- in Hebrew.

The Western Wall is revered for its proximity
 to the sacred Holy of Holies
 that once stood behind it on the Temple Mount. 
Although it was a supporting structure
 and not part of the temple itself,
 the wall is all that is left of the edifice
 that was built to God's glory.

As the centuries passed, much of the Wall
 was built over or covered by rubble.
 Then during the Six Day War in 1967,
 when Israel regained the Old city of Jerusalem,
 they once again took possession
 of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. 
The government opened up the entire 1601 feet length
 of the Western Wall as a religious site.
The huge lower stones, ashlars, are from the time of Herod. 
They have been carved with such precision
 that they sit on top and beside stones without mortar.
 Grass grows out of the cracks in the upper sections.

Crevices are hiding place for tiny pieces of paper with prayers

Prayers in the holes in the walls

Pilgrims come to this spot for a time of prayer.

Orthodox Jews can be seen at the wall,
 chanting and swaying.
Some Jews visit the Wall daily 
to recite the entire book of Psalms.

Certainly a reminder to us that faith life tending 
is to be intentional.
A gift of grace and then our response of 
praise and thanksgiving.

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