The wall has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries. The earliest source mentioning Jewish attachment to the site dates back to the 4th Century.
It became a site for prayer for two reasons. First it was the only part of the Temple Mount retaining wall that could be approached on foot by Jews. The eastern side of the Temple Mount is occupied by a Muslim cemetery. The northern side is in the Arab Quarter. The south side was covered with debris until 1967. And most of the western wall had buildings built right up to it. The second reason it was an appropriate place is because it is considered to be the closest place to where the Holy of Holies was located atop the Temple Mount.
The area is known to many in the West as “The Wailing Wall.” It got that name from the Jewish practice of going to the site to mourn and bemoan the destruction of the Temple. The exposed section today is 187 feet long and 62 feet tall. A total of 43 feet of the vertical part of the wall is underground due to the fact that so much debris was pushed off the top of the Temple Mount when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
All the photographs featured in the calendar were taken by an Israeli photographer named Jack Hazut of www.israelimage.net.
|The Plaza||Reading the Torah|
|Reading the Torah|