“ Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
Me and the Wailing Wall at the back I was excited and ready to talk to God!
The Western Wall is a holy place for the Jews. It is located in Jerusalem, a city in the modern day country of Israel. Today, Jews from all over the world go to pray at the Western Wall. Many pray for peace, in a land that has seen many wars.
The Western Wall is all that is left of a great Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The first Temple was build about 3,000 years ago by the Jewish king, Solomon. For over a thousand years, the Temple was the place where the Jews went to worship. Twice, it was attacked and pulled down, but each time it was rebuilt. The Western Wall was one of the outer walls of the last Temple.
After it had been built for the third time, the Temple was finally destroyed by the Romans. It was never rebuilt.
Jerusalem is a holy city for three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Jerusalem is important for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Christians believe that Jesus Christ died there on the cross and rose again from the dead and went to heaven. For Muslims, Jerusalem is a holy place too. They believe that the prophet Muhammad travelled there. He made a miraculous journey from a place called Mecca. They believed that he was lifted up to heaven from Mount Moriah.
People of many different religions have lived in and around Jerusalem. Other people moved in and their families later became the Palestinians.
Children also came to sing songs and pray!
Today, the Western Wall is also called “Wailing Wall”. Many Jews made a holy journey or pilgrimage to the Wailing Wall. They cried at the destruction of the Temple and prayed for a time when Jews could worship freely there. Now, the Wall is treated as a great open-air synagogue.
Jewish men are praying at the Wailing Wall.
Women pray in a separate area next to them.
If you look closely at the Wall, pieces of paper are folded and tucked into the cracks between the huge stones. When people visit the Wall, many Jewish people or tourists write down prayers and wishes. They slip them into the Wall, hoping that their prayers will reach God especially quickly from there.
That’s me praying to God. I cannot control myself as tears flowed down my face. I cried a lot that day (good thing I was wearing shades!). Why? Because I was very thankful that God sent His Son, Jesus on Earth to die for us in order to save us from our sins. Because of Christ, we have HOPE and a New Life. Without Him, our life would be meaningless and worthless.
I was also blessed and thankful to be able to travel all the way to HOLY LAND and happily declare
“I HAVE WALKED WHERE MY JESUS WALKED.” <3
When departing, the custom is to walk backwards away from the Wall.
Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah services are also held at the Western wall. When Jewish boys are 13 they can become Bar Mitzvah, and when girls are 12 or 13 they can become Bat Mitzvah. It means the boy or girl is starting to become an adult. This is a very special and exciting time for the whole family. Sadly, I wasn’t able to witness these services that day. Hmmm.. maybe in the future!
Above the Wailing Wall, you can see a beautiful golden dome. It is part of a Muslim place of worship called the Dome of the Rock, built on Mount Moriah. It is a reminder that Jerusalem is a holy city for people of several religions.
Some important reminders when visiting the Western or Wailing Wall:
Please respect the sanctity of the site. Wear appropriate head covering especially for men. Make sure you are dressed modestly. Refrain from conversion or other disturbances to worshippers. During Sabbath and other Jewish festivals: smoking, photography and cellphone use are strictly forbidden.
Photography by ME: SarahMay Tanhuanco