Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Travel Tuesday: Israel Flashbacks, Pt. 5

This is a series of blog posts recounting a family trip to Israel in 2007.  You can find Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 in the archives. 

The Western Wall
After pizza in the Jewish Quarter, we went to the Western Wall.

The Western wall is one of the holiest places for the Jews. 

Originally, it was not really a part of the Second Temple that Herod built. It was one of the walls that supported the Temple Mount Podium. The Romans destroyed the temple in 70 A.D. but the wall survived.

During the Post-crusader era, the Wall became a more important place. Now it is a sacred site for Jewish worshippers to come and pray and write little hopes and prayers on paper and then push the papers into the cracks.

The right side of the wall is for women and the left side (which is quite a bit larger than the women’s side) is reserved for the men. There are fountains of water to wash before you go to the wall. I did not wash because I am not Jewish. But I saw those who did. I went alone to the women’s side of the wall (I did carry Brooke). Several women asked for donations for the poor and were handing out prayer cards. I was touched by the sincerity of devotion of the women as they prayed. Some were reading their scriptures and praying. To me, it was a sacred place as people went there to feel close to God and to ask for His help with their lives.

I did not take pictures of women going to the wall as it didn’t feel right to do so.

I saw many Ultra-orthodox men taking their children to the wall. I thought was very special to see families going together.

 I have read that some people hold Bar Mitzvahs at the wall. That must be quite a sight!


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