The Western Wall or Kotel

Authored by: Dotan Goren

Routledge Handbook on Jerusalem

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138936935
eBook ISBN: 9781315676517
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315676517-18

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Abstract

The Western Wall (HaKotel HaMa’aravi) in Jerusalem is just one part of one of the four retaining walls that made up the foundation for the Temple Mount, the platform upon which the Second Temple once stood. These walls have remained more or less intact for the last 2,000 years. Jewish tradition attributes a great deal of sanctity to the Western Wall, or Kotel, which is the visible segment of the full foundational western wall of the platform, because of its closeness to the place of the Second Temple. Starting in the fourteenth century a place of worship was set up at its foot, which is used to this day. The Kotel has religious, historical and national significance, and the site attracts millions of visitors each year, Jews and non-Jews alike.

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