Western Wall - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Dr. M. B. Cohen
    • 24.05.10 | 02:07 (IDT)

    The Western Wall is NOT "a remnant of the Biblical Temple." The biblical temple was destroyed in 586 BCE and replaced with a much more modest structure in the early to mid-5th century BCE. Four centuries after the end of the "biblical period," in the late first century BCE, King Herod of Judea began a massive expansion and reconstruction project that transformed the Second Temple it into a much more grandiose edifice. In order to do this he had to expand the surface of the Temple Mount and build a retaining wall to support the extension of the surface. This retaining wall was, for centuries, called the "Wailing Wall: and is now known as the Western Wall. It was not part of Solomon's Temple or the original Second Temple, the only Jewish temples that could be said to be "biblical." During the Middle Ages, Jewish pilgrims and travelers actually prayed at the Gate of Mercy, not the Wailing Wall. It only became Jerusalem's main sacred site for Jews a few hundred years ago.

    from the article: Rahm Emanuel visits Israel to celebrate son's bar mitzvah
    First published 17:29 23.05.10 | Last updated 17:29 23.05.10
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