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Middle East

Wailing Wall

Photo by Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Wailing Wall is in the Old City of Jerusalem, a place of prayer and pilgrimage sacred to the Jewish people. It is the only remains of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, held to be uniquely holy by the ancient Jews and destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The authenticity of the Western Wall has been confirmed by tradition, history, and archaeological research.

Made of ancient limestone the Wailing Wall, also called the Western Wall, and referred to as Kotel in Hebrew, and the Buraq Wall in Islam. It is considered holy due to its connection to the Temple Mount, where those of Jewish faith are forbidden from praying. Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is a holy place of prayer and pilgrimage for Jewish people. The Wailing Wall is one of the great Arab-Israeli struggles. Jews and Arabs dispute who is in control of the wall and who has access to it.

During our tour of Jerusalem, we visited the Wailing Wall. The wall is divided in half for women to pray on one side and men the other. Visitors to the wall have long followed the practice of wedging small slips of paper, upon which prayers and petitions are written, into the cracks between the stones. People also read the Torah and pray at the wall. I took time to say a prayer at the wall and insert it into the cracks. 

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