Kotel or Western Wall


Sites in Israel

 

The Kotel HaMa'aravi otherwise known as the Western Wall, is Judaism's second most holy site.  The Temple Mount itself is Judaism's most holy site as it was the location of the First and Second Holy Temples.  The Holy Temple, known in Hebrew as the Beit HaMikdash, was the spiritual center of the Jewish people.  The term Beit HaMikdash (sanctified House or House of God)  was first built by King Solomon based on the commandmant by God to Moses duirng the 40 year exodus out of Egypt.   This First Temple was destroyd by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the 2nd Temple was soon after built in the year 516 BCE.  The Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, and only the Western wall of the Temple Mount, remained standing.   

Jews from all over the world come all year round to visit and pray to God at the Kotel.  Upon close inspection, one will see hundreds of small pieces of paper bearing individuals'  personal prayers to God, that they had stuffed into the cracks of the wall. 

The Kotel, or the Western Wall, was built by King Herod as part of his impressive building program to expand and glorify the Holy Temple in the first century BCE.   In order to enhance the surrounding grounds of the Holy Temple , King Herod ordered that  Mount Moriah, the mount on which the Temple stood, be expanded .  The Kotel was built as the western retaining wall to the Temple Mount after it was expanded.  

 

Due to the religious nature and sensitivity of this site, there is a seperate prayer area for men on the left of the pavillion, and a seperate prayer area for women on the right side.  Further south there is Ezrat Yisrael, a communal all inclussiv section where men and women can pray together.  

All visitors are requested to dress modestly when visiting the Kotel. 

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