Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 9 years ago

What was the western wall for? ?

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Western Wall , also called the Wailing Wall, is a retaining wall from the time of the Second, q.v., Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple was the holiest building in Judaism. Herod the Great built vast retaining walls around Mount Moriah, expanding the small, quasi-natural plateau on which the First and Second Temples stood into the wide open spaces of the Temple Mount we see today.

    The Western Wall is holy to the Jewish people because this wall is part of a wall that encompasses the Temple Mount along with the southern and eastern sections. This encompassing wall thought to be the only remnant of the Temple in Jerusalem and the closest site to the "Holy of Holies", the most holy site in Judaism. Of the three wall sections, eastern, southern and western, the western is the traditional site of prayer.

    On the Temple Mount, encompassed by the wall, the Muslims over the centuries built the Dome of the Rock and the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque, from which they believe that Mohammed ascended to heaven on a horse in a mysterious vision. For Muslims it is their third holiest spot on Earth, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. In the past there was little contention over who "owns" the area and who should have custody over it, because outside powers ruled, such as Turkey for 400 years (1515-1917), followed by the British Mandate of Palestine (1917-1948), but in the 20th century this area has become a part of the larger Arab-Israeli conflict, particularly after the independence of the State of Israel.

    According to most rabbis, Jews are forbidden to enter certain areas of the Temple Mount. These areas are defined differently by different rabbinic authorities, nonetheless all agree that the enterance into the area occupied by the Dome of the Rock is forbidden. That same area was once occupied by the Temple which was a biblically designated holy place. The rock beneath the Dome of The Rock, is considered by some rabbinic midrashic texts to be the foundation from which God created the universe. According to some rabbinic works, this rock was where the biblical patriarch Isaac was bound by Abraham during his near-sacrifice. This area was held to be where the patriarch Jacob slept and dreamt of a ladder going up to heaven with angels (Genesis). This spot is identified with the Holy Of Holies.

    In ancient times only certain people were permitted into the Temple's grounds. The Temple complex consisted of distinct areas each with its own level of holiness. The most holy area, the Holy Of Holies (Kodesh Hakodashim), the central part of the Temple was entered only once a year on Yom Kippur and only by the High Priest. Other areas were accessible only to members of the priestly family, the Kohanim. Other areas, further from the Holy of Holies were accessible to the Levi'im. Further out were areas accessible to all Jews.

  • The Western Wall is located within the Old City in Jerusalem. It is the section of the Western supporting wall of the Temple Mount that remains of the Second Jerusalem Temple (70 C.E.).

    For a more detailed explanation see:

  • John P
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I presume you mean the Western Wall around western Europe constructed and manned by the Germans in WW2. The intention was to form a formidable obstacle to any seaborne invasion of lands that Germany had cionquered. The obvious enemy was Britain and its Commonwealth, later joined by USA.

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