Western Wall Photo Album


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Photos of sights around the Western Wall Plaza

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Western Wall Photo Album

  1. 1. THE WESTERN WALL Jerusalem December 2008
  2. 2. The Western Wall is the section of the western supporting wall of the Temple Mount which was not destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. During the Ottoman Period (16th century), the Jews came here to lament the destruction of the Temple. It was then located in a narrow alley just 3.6 m wide that could accommodate only a few hundred worshipers. In 1967, immediately after the Six Day War, Israelis levelled the neighbouring Arab district to create the Western Wall Plaza (80 m wide), which can accommodate tens of thousands of pilgrims.
  3. 3. At the same time, the Israelis made the wall about 1.8 m 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. Today, we can see 28 stone courses. Starting from the base: 7 from the Herodian Period/Second Temple period (1st century BCE) 4 from the Umayyad period (7th century CE) 14 from the Ottoman period (16th century CE) 3 from the Muslim cleric of Jerusalem before 1967
  4. 4. Jews come here to pray as they believe that the Divine Presence never moves from the Western Wall
  5. 5. Wash basins and water They would wash the right containers with 2 handles are hand, using the left handle to provided for the Jews to wash hold the container, before the their hands before prayers left
  6. 6. The Jews stand at the wall to read the Psalms or pray, swaying as they do so Written prayers are studded in between the cracks in this open synagogue
  7. 7. An ultra-orthodox Jew An orthodox Jew with Chinese Jew (left) in his black suit his tefillin (phylacteries Every male has to wear on his head and the head covering when A modern orthodox Jew straps around his hand) entering sacred Jewish (right) wearing jeans and tallit (prayer shawl worship places in Israel with 613 fringes at the 4 corners = the 613 oral traditions)
  8. 8. Bar Mitzvah (‘son of the commandment’) is celebrated at the Western Wall Plaza every Monday & Thursday The 13-year old Jewish boy comes of age & is morally responsible for his actions It is a joyous time that is celebrated with the family The procession begins outside the Plaza
  9. 9. The highlights: The celebrant puts on the tefillin, wears the tallit, and is called up to the Torah reading The ceremony for the first time is performed The women folk during the stood on boxes, Shacharit peering from (morning their side of the prayers) fence After the In an alley reading of the some distance Torah, the bar away from the mitzvah boy Plaza, women parades around prepare food with the Torah for the party Scrolls, that ends the accompanied by ceremony lots of singing & dancing
  10. 10. Below the Plaza are the Western Wall Tunnels Originally explored by two British archaeologists (Charles Wilson, in 1864; and Charles Warren, in 1867-1870) who found that the Wall continued for 320 m and that some structures still existed from the Second Temple period The Israeli government continued the northern exploration by excavating a tunnel along the entire length of the Wall which is now 488 m in length
  11. 11. Look at how enormous the stones of the master course are The stones are held together without the use of mortar The Western Wall Tunnel lies below the Plaza & has 7 stone courses from the Second Temple Period
  12. 12. The largest stone of the master course is 13.6 m x 4.5 m x 3.5 m and weighs 570 tons This portion of the Western Wall was built by Herod around 19 BCE
  13. 13. Hadrian converted Herod’s moat & pool into a market place Inside the tunnels, you can see many other things: a synagogue at the entrance gate to the Temple Mount, a 14th century medieval cistern, a Hasmonean cistern & water tunnel, a Second Temple period street, quarry, & dam, & many other interesting sights
  14. 14. We emerge out of the tunnels into the bright sunlight of the Via Dolorosa From here, we can see the remains of the triumphal arch erected under Hadrian (135 CE) to celebrate the capture of Jerusalem The left arch, which no longer exists The right arch is still preserved today inside the Church of the Sisters of Zion