Western Wall

Western Wall

After the Temple Mount, the second most holy site in Eretz Yisroel is the Western Wall (Kotel). This wall is not part of the Temple itself, but a section of the wall that surrounded the Temple Mount. An outer wall built by King Herod, this is the only remaining relic of the destroyed Temple’s immediate environs.

Insights:

The Western Wall has played partner to the Jewish people’s prayers, dreams and yearnings in song, literature, Midrash and Aggadah. This longing spans generations and cultures to unite the entire people.
Jews have remained in constant attendance at the Wall, praying beside it ceaselessly.
According to classical Jewish belief, the Temple Mount acts as the figurative "footstool" of God's presence (Heb. "shechina") in the physical world.

Memorial dates:

9-Av is a day of mourning for the destruction of both Temples that were destroyed on this day.

Directions:
Old City

Construction:
Historically, two temples were built at this location, and a future Temple features in Jewish eschatology.

The First Temple was built by King Solomon in seven years during the 10th century BCE, culminating in 960 BCE. It was the center of ancient Judaism. The Temple replaced the Tabernacle of Moses and the Tabernacles at Shiloh, Nov, and Givon as the central focus of Jewish faith. This First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BCE.

Construction of a new temple was begun in 537 BCE; after a hiatus, work resumed 520 BCE, with completion occurring in 516 BCE and dedication in 515. As described in the Book of Ezra, rebuilding of the Temple was authorized by Cyrus the Great and ratified by Darius the Great. Five centuries later, this Second Temple was renovated by Herod the Great in about 20 BCE. It was subsequently destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Although the Temple itself has long since been destroyed, and for many years it was believed that the western wall of the complex was the only wall standing.
Jewish eschatology envisions the construction of The Third Temple in Jerusalem associated with the coming of The Messiah, and thus, adherents of Orthodox Judaism anticipate a Third Temple.


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