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 crevices of the wall.

 

Discover More

Western Wall

This remnant of the Second Temple is an important symbol in Judaism.

Modern Israel at a Glance

An overview of the Jewish state and its many accomplishments and challenges.

What Is A Cantor (Hazzan or Chazan)?

What these singing clergy members do and how they are trained.

Israel’s War of Independence

Establishing a new nation and defending it

The Evolution of Israeli Cuisine

Increasingly trendy worldwide, Israeli food mixes the flavors of the Middle East and the Jewish Diaspora.

The Life of Yitzhak Rabin

The slain Israeli prime minister was a military hero who embarked on a historic effort to bring peace to his country and paid for it with his life.

Terrorism in Israel: Questions and Answers

Palestinian attacks on civilians have been a feature of life in Israel since even before the country’s establishment.