why is the wailing wall called the wailing wall

Western Wall, Hebrew
Ha-Kotel Ha-Maйaravi, also called Wailing Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem, a place of prayer and sacred to the Jewish people. It is the only remains of the Second, held to be uniquely holy by the ancient Jews and destroyed by the Romans in 70. The authenticity of the Western Wall has been confirmed by tradition, history, and archaeological research; the, though its upper sections were added at a later date. Because the wall now forms part of a larger wall that surrounds the Muslim and Al-AqАед Mosque, Jews and Arabs have frequently disputed control of the wall and, often, right of access to it. That conflict has been particularly heated since the Israeli government took full control of the Old City in the wake of the Six Day War of June 1967. As it is seen today, the Western Wall measures about 160 feet (50 metres) long and about 60 feet (20 metres) high; the wall, however, extends much deeper into the earth.


Jewish devotions there date from the early period and reaffirm the rabbinic belief that Бthe divine Presence never departs from the Western Wall. Б Jews lament the destruction of the Temple and pray for its restoration. Such terms as Wailing Wall were coined by European travelers who witnessed the mournful vigils of pious Jews before the relic of the sacred Temple. 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. Arab and Jewish sources both confirm that, after the Arab capture of in 638, Jews led the conquerors to the site of the Holy Rock and Temple yard and helped clear away the debris. Jerusalem s Wailing Wall is the most venerated site in Judaism today.


Above is the Wailing Wall during the Shavuot (see below). Why is the Wailing Wall called the Wailing Wall? In the Middle Ages, Jerusalem s European residents often heard Jewish visitors wailing at the wall to lament the loss of Jerusalem. The Wailing Wall, however, is a misnomer because the Wailing Wall actually isn t a wall. When Herod the Great - the one who slaughtered Bethlehem s baby boys after Jesus was born there (see ) - set out to expand the Second Temple of Jerusalem, he found the Temple Mount area too small for his plans. So he enlarged it by widening the foundation with cut boulders. The Wailing Wall is the western facade (the Wailing Wall is also called, Western Wall ) of this foundation, which is all that remained of the Temple Mount after the Roman army razed Herod s temple in 70 AD, just as Jesus had prophesied about 40 years earlier: Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!


And Jesus answered and said to him, Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down. Were they really thrown down? from the Temple Mount, just as Jesus had prophesied ~30 AD. For more archaeology, see, and. Below is the Wailing Wall during a quieter moment at sunrise. The orthodox Jewish men* facing the Wailing Wall, including the two on the left wearing prayer shawls, are reciting prayers while rocking back and forth. Prayers are also written on pieces of paper, which are folded and stuck in the Wailing Wall s crevices. Why do they rock back and forth while reciting prayers at the Wailing Wall? Jewish rabbis learned early on that using more muscles aids memorization.

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