The Kotel is also known as Ha-Kotel Ma'aravi, the Western Wall and the Wailing Wall. Kotel is located in the Old City of Jerusalem and is part of the remains of the second Temple. The Kotel is considered the holiest site in Judaism because of its proximity to the destroyed ancient Temples and to the place where Holy of Holies used to reside. It is said that the gateway to heaven is situated directly above the wall.


The Western Wall is saId to be the permnent home of Shekjhunah, the woman-like embodiment of the devine presence. The legend has it that on the Nineth of Av a white dove perches on the wall and weeps over the destruction of the temple.


Only a small portion of the Western Wall is exposed. There is almost 500 feet of the wall that is buried under ground. It can be viewed by visiting the Western Wall Tunnels that were cleared by Israeli archeologists over the last 20 years. 


Under the Armistice agreement of 1949,  the  Jordanians agreed to allow the Jews access to the Western Wall and Mount of Olives but never lived up to their commitments. No Jew was allowed to visit the Kotel until 1967.


The Western Wall fell under the Israeli control during the Six-Day War. On June 7th of 1967 Israeli paratroopers stormed the Temple Mount  compound trough the Lions Gate. At the Western Wall General  Goren blew the shofar and said Kaddish, the mourner's prayer, for his fallen comrades. General Moshe Dayan wrote a prayer on a note and inserted it between the stones. The note read "We have reunited the capital of Israel never to part it again. To our Arab neighbors we offer, even now, our hand in peace".


Talmud teaches that all prayers ascend to the  heavens through Western Wall in Jerusalem.  One of the ancient  Jewish  traditions that are going back hundreds of years is to place a prayer, written on a small piece of paper, or Tzetel into a crack in the Western Wall.


Birkat Kohanim is a Jewish prayer that is recited by Kohanim during certain religious services. It is performed daily in Israel and on high holidays in Diaspora

                   




 

Kotel Gallery


  Western Wall - Kotel  
     
     
   Father and Son Celebrating Sukot at Kotel - GPO Pictures - Photo by Amos ben Gershon  
Dialog with God   Sukot    Torah Study
     
     
 
  Shabbat at Kotel    
     
     
  notes to God dreamstime by  by Mikhail_levit
Hope Blowing Shofar at Kotel   Notes to God
     
     
   
Solace     Kotel - Women's Section   Bar Mitzvah  
     
     
      
Torah   Kotel - Menora   Day at Kotel  
   
     
     
Gateway to Heaven   Shadow   Tzitzit  
     
   
Flagman   Ariel Sharon   Israeli Soldier  
     
     
Birat Cohenim Dreamstime Tisha Be'av Prayer at Kotel - GPO Pictures - Photo by Amos ben Gershon
Birkat Kohanim Pope John Paul II   Tisha Be'av  
     
   
  Prayer Dreamstime
Brothers  Women Soldiers at Kotel   Prayer
     
     
     
Israeli Flag Hands of Beleiver White Dove