Glimpses - The Kotel

The Western Wall is the last remaining structure from the Temple Mount precinct, which was destroyed in 70CE by the Romans. At that time, the intention of the Roman empire was to obliterate Jewish history from Jerusalem. The city was completely destroyed, ploughed over, and a new city, Aelia Capitolina, was designed and built. The Temple too was destroyed, however, Rome wanted to antagonize the Jewish people by leaving a mere retaining wall, a pitiful reminder of the once magnificent House of the LORD. Jewish people were forbidden to enter Aelia Capitolina, with the exception of Tisha B'Av - (the 9th of Av) the day when the Temple was destroyed.

The torment continued through the centuries as the nations refused to allow the Jewish people to return or to rebuild. On the rare occasions, when certain individuals, or small groups of Jewish people were given access, they wept at the Kotel ... remembering Zion. Unsympathetic to the cause of Zion and uncaring for the Jewish people's loss, the nations have depicted the Kotel as "the Wailing Wall". 

Miraculously, in 1967 during the Six-Day War, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were returned to Jewish possession. 

Today, the Western Wall is a place for prayer.  A large open plaza welcomes both locals and visitors alike. And it is here, on Sabbath and the appointed Holy Days, at the Western Wall that thousands of Jewish people gather to pray and rejoice in the God of Israel - like no other place in the world.

Mark Warren