Saturday, April 14, 2012

The holiest Jewish site on earth

The Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall) is the holiest Jewish site on earth.  An estimated 2 million visitors come to Jerusalem each year, with this famous wall being among the most popular attractions.

The Temple Mount is originally the site of Solomon's, Zerubbabel's, and Herod's temples.  The Western Wall is part of the retaining wall built by Herod the Great in 20BC to support the temple.

Of all the four walls of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall was the closest to the Holy of Holies, and therefore, the Jews believe that to pray by the Western Wall is particularly beneficial.  Many have determined that the area in front of the Western Wall has the status of a synagogue and must be treated with due respect.  As such, men and married women are expected to cover their heads and be dressed appropriately upon approaching the Wall.  They are also separated by a divider - men get the left half and women get the right half for praying.  When leaving, the Jewish custom is to walk backwards, always facing the wall.
There is a practice by many of placing written prayers that have been carefully folded into the cracks and crevices of the wall.  More than a million notes are placed here each year!

A practice that has been carried out by Jews since Solomon's time is praying toward the city of Jerusalem, specifically toward the Temple Mount.  Daniel did this when he prayed "...his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God..."  Daniel 6:10  This practice comes from Solomon's dedication prayer of the temple in II Chronicles 6:38, "and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name:"  It is common for us to see Jews praying just about anywhere, but always facing the direction of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Psalm 18:6

And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat.  Exodus 25:22

However, now that we are His temple, we can come boldly to His throne at any place, at any time.  What a comforting thought that is for us and can be for you too!


  1. I so enjoy these posts! I really am looking forward to sharing this one with our children! Thank you for posting!

  2. Why do men in other cultures uncover their heads when they pray, but Jewish men cover theirs? I have wondered that for a long time.


  4. What a great history lesson I'm getting from your blog :-)


  5. Jolene, I've been thinking of you and praying for your family this morning. I always enjoy your informative posts:)

  6. I love your blogs. I also with our pastor & others. Love you.

  7. We as a family truly love reading your posts. Would LOVE to come there for a visit!

    1. This makes me really, really happy to know you are sharing these posts with your family as well! Thanks for leaving me a comment!

  8. Thank you again for all the pictures and your words, Jolene. Wow, I stand in "Awe of HIM!" What an honor that we can come before the Throne of Grace, daily, into His presence... love and hugs to your family!

  9. Thank you for providing insight that we cannot see -- in so many ways!

  10. AMAZING! Just to think of where you have stood and who else may have stood in the exact same place, it's awesome. Wow, following God's will took you to Israel, too cool!!

  11. I have really enjoyed reading these posts about Israel. Thanks for sharing! - Tinyla

  12. yes it is -- very comforting and very sweet(: We are so blessed to be Christians!!! PTL :D <3


Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25