Late afternoon daylight was fading. lights that illuminated Jerusalem’s Western or Wailing Wall had already been turned on. The Western Wall itself – one hundred eighty seven foot, section of the ancient wall that rings theTemple Mount. The Temple Mount – site of three temples – the first, built by Jewish King Solomon. The second by the Roman appointee, Herod. And a third temple, so far existing only in the minds of Jew and, Christians. Muslims too – but with contemplated with dread and anger.
Walking here from the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, Jane and I had descended a long series of stairs, passing through a security check point as we reached the plaza below. The plaza, a stone paved expanse built to accommodate crowds exceeding one hundred thousand – the immense crowds that gather on holidays – holy days. It stretches out and away from the Wall at the southwest corner of the Temple Mount. At its North West corner a waist high retainer of stone blocks bisects the side of the plaza directly in front of the Wailing Wall, forming a retainer, preventing falls to the prayer floor, two meters below. The prayer floor,paved with white marble, stretches the full length and thrity meters back from the actual Wall. Capped with an angle cut stone lip, the retaining wall is comfortable to lean against as many do, content to watch the ever shifting specticle. Hwere ever you were in the world at that time, if you were Jewish your attention was on this place – this gathering. Attention and intention are key words. I was about to learn something but not nearly all there is to understand of theire significancea. Arriving early, Jane and I had this front row view as the spectacle unfolded around us – perfect for events that would mark the evening and set a furhter progression of events in motion. Continue Reading