Writing with Light

The Western Wall

The holiest site in Judaism is the Western Wall (or known in Hebrew as Ha-Kotel Ha-Ma’aravi). Located in the Old City in Jerusalem it sits a top the Temple Mount.

In the year 37 BCE, King Herod order a huge renovation project for the Temple. The area of the Temple Mount was widened and four support walls were built around it. The Western Wall was the western support wall that was built at that time. More than half the wall and many tunnels actually lie below street level. The wall and tunnels that run underground run through both the Jewish Quarter and the Muslim Quarter of the old city.

The second temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70CE and what remained were the four support walls. What makes the Western Wall (and not one of the other three remaining support walls) the most special is its proximity to the location of the Holy of Holies in the Temple. The Holy of Holies is the core and heart of the first and second temples and it is said that The Ark of the Covenant was kept there. The ark is said to have contained The Ten Commandments.

There is a tradition that Jews visiting The Western Wall adhere to. Notes or prayers are written on a small piece of paper and placed in the cracks of the wall. The idea is that one isn’t praying to a wall but that a divine presence lies on the wall. Writing a prayer on a small piece of paper and fitting it into a crack in the wall is like having a direct line to this divine source.

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19 responses

  1. Rob

    A joy to learn about cultures through travel and through photo-blogging.

    Like

    November 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

  2. Great post, Edith. I’ve seen a few specials on this place via TV. Really interesting history. Lovely shots, particularly the first one, which looks timeless.

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    November 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm

  3. Very nice Edith. I like the combination of having the wide-angle to create a sense of size and scale, and then the detail shot to help tell your story.

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    November 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

  4. Terrific post Edith! The shots tie the story together nicely.

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    November 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm

  5. Great post! I have been there and jammed my notes/prayers in that wall… Really nicely captured!

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    November 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

  6. Really cool post here Edith and a nice write up!

    Like

    November 29, 2011 at 7:22 am

  7. Awesome post. I have a note inside the wall from when i visited last Spring. It was quite moving to be there. Also, very interesting to see 3 religions interacting relatively peacefully is such a close proximity to eachother. Nice work!

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    November 29, 2011 at 8:04 am

  8. Edith, Really cool wall image and great info too!

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    November 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

  9. Wonderful image Edith. Sums up this wall perfectly.

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    November 29, 2011 at 11:03 am

  10. What an amazing place to visit. Nice job Edith.

    Like

    November 29, 2011 at 11:15 am

  11. Thanks everyone. This place is steeped in history and it’s an incredible experience to be able to be there and take it all in.

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    November 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  12. wow, that’s pretty cool. I always find beliefs like this interesting.

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    November 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

  13. Great history lesson Edith as well as learning about different cultures. The images are excellent (as always) too

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    November 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm

  14. nice work Edith and cool closeup shot of the wall with the prayers stuffed in it!

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    November 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm

  15. Great shots Edith! Fantastic job capturing the notes in the wall. What a great detail!

    Like

    November 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

  16. Wow, that place must be real “moving”! I like that close-up of the crack in the wall.

    Like

    December 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm

  17. nice photographs you have on your blog.. :)

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm

  18. Pingback: Capture The Color Contest « Edith Levy Photography

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