What Is the Western Wall?

The last remaining wall of the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

The Western Wall (sometimes called the Wailing Wall, or the Kotel, the Hebrew word for wall) is one of the last remaining walls of the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

The Temple was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans, and much of what remains of the original structure is a small portion of an external supporting wall. Though it was not originally an important part of the Temple, this wall is considered an extremely holy place today. Located on the Temple Mount (known in Hebrew as har ha’bayit, and in Arabic as haram al-sharif) in Jerusalem‘s Old City, Jews and non-Jews from all over the world visit the Western Wall to pray and meditate. It is customary to write short prayers on pieces of paper and leave them in the crevasses of the wall.


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