Reaching Our Essence
An ancient limestone-made weight, dating to the Iron age – the First Temple period, was discovered in an archaeological excavation conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in conjunction with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation beneath Wilson’s Arch.
. Adjacent to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The weight, corresponding to the known measurement unit of two shekalim, was retrieved during sifting of earthen fills by the City of David sifting project. The excavation is nearing its completion, unearthing fascinating discoveries soon to be included in the tour of the Western Wall Tunnels. Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation: “How exciting, in the month of Tishrei, whose symbol is the scales of justice, to find a souvenir from the First Temple period. Actually now, when coming to the Western Wall is so restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic, this finding strengthens the eternal connection between the Jewish nation, Jerusalem, and the Western Wall while offering us all encouragement.”According to Dr. Barak Monnickendam-Givon and Tehillah Lieberman, directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority: “The weight is dome-shaped with a flat base. On the top of the weight is an incised Egyptian symbol resembling a Greek gamma (γ), representing the abbreviated unit ‘shekel.’ Two incised lines indicate the double mass: two shekalim. One of the uses of the shekel weight system during the First Temple period was to collect an annual tax of half a shekel dedicated to the sacrifices and upkeep of the Temple. According to previous finds, the known weight of a single shekel is 11.5 grams, thus a double shekel should way 23 grams – exactly as this weight does. The accuracy of the weight attests to advanced technological skills as well as to the weight given to precise trade and commerce in ancient Jerusalem. Coins were not yet in use during this period, therefore accuracy of the weights played a significant role in business. Year-round and especially during the times of pilgrimage, the area at the foot of the Temple Mount was sure to be busy. Locals and pilgrims would have traded for sacrifices and offerings as well as for food, souvenirs and other commodities. A weight such as the one discovered would have been used to measure accurate amounts of products at the market.”
During previous archaeological excavations beneath Wilson’s Arch, directed by Dr, Joe Uziel, Tehillah Lieberman and Dr. Avi Solomon, several stone courses of the Western Wall were exposed, after being covered with earthen fills some 1800 years ago. The renewed excavation continues the previous discoveries of the preceding dig. “The unique finding from the First Temple Period, discovered in a context dating several centuries later, to the Roman period, indicates that the area of the Western Wall encapsulates various remains from a wide range of periods reflecting the centrality of the area for many centuries” added Dr. Monnickendam-Givon and Lieberman.Photographer: Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority
In light of the government’s decision to tighten the lockdown for the near future, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation will be broadcasting Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv prayer services daily and Chol Hamoed Sukkot. Following are the prayers times for the days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, the 11th to the 14th of Tishrei (September 29th to October 2nd):8:30 am – Shacharit morning prayers (shemoneh esreh 8:52 am)6:10 pm – Mincha afternoon prayers (shemoneh esreh 6:13 pm)6:50 pm – Maariv evening prayers (shemoneh esreh 6:56 pm)The prayers will be broadcast on the Western Wall Heritage Foundation’s website and Facebook page and on the designated phone number: 02-301-1133.Names for Mourner’s Kaddish can be sent through the website:
Or by WhatsApp: 052-307-7788 (Please note this number is not open to calls.)Note only the name of the deceased and his/her father’s name.
Kaddish will be recited for the deceased until and including Wednesday. If there is a need to continue saying kaddish for the deceased after Wednesday, please reregister. “Avinu Malkeinu, Our Father our King, withhold the plague from Your inheritance.”
The Bar Mitzvah's in the Western wall September 17th are dedicatedto the honor (zechut) of Raymond Diwan's Bar mitzvah
“May the New Year and its blessings begin”: This is how the removal of prayer notes from the between the Western Wall stones looks on Erev Rosh Hashana 5781.The holidays of Tishrei will be celebrated amid the coronavirus pandemic in accordance with Health Ministry regulations, but great efforts will be made not to veer away from the site’s customs, albeit with a symbolic and limited number of people.
As is traditional prior to Rosh Hashana, this morning (Wednesday), prayer notes placed between the stones of the Wall were removed, in the shadow of the coronavirus and the subsequent restrictions. The stones of the Wall were also sanitized in order to safeguard the health of visitors to the Western Wall.Prior to Rosh Hashana 5781, this year as well, the custom continued of removing the many prayer notes placed by visitors over the past summer months between the stones of the Wall. Notes were also sent from around the world in various ways. The notes were removed using gloves and disposable wooden tools by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation staff. They were then collected in bags that will be buried along with sacred books for “geniza” on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.Every year, over 40,000 notes are sent digitally via the Western Wall website. Since the eruption of the coronavirus pandemic in Israel, over 15,000 prayer notes have been sent from around the world, about 20% more than the same period last year.Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, who accompanied the removal and sanitization process in person, offered a prayer in honor of the upcoming New Year: “We stand today on the eve of the New Year and pray to the Creator of the Universe that ‘the old year and its curses cease and the New Year and its blessings begin.’ We find great strength and comfort at the Western Wall during times like these, facing the sacred stones that survived hardships and have empowered us with faith that better days are ahead. We pray that He will remove from us the evil decree and we will merit coming to Jerusalem with joy, en masse, and renewing our days as of old.”
A delegation led by Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump; Robert O’Brien, United States National Security Advisor; Avi Berkowitz, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations; Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, and other senior American diplomats came to the Western Wall to pray prior to traveling to the United Arab Emirates.The delegation was greeted by Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, who explained how the Western Wall has been functioning in the shadow of the coronavirus, and how the Western Wall serves as a model for maintaining the routine of prayer and visits while abiding by directives. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall, sent a special letter with Mr. Kushner to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with blessings from Jerusalem for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation director showed the delegation fascinating findings discovered in archaeological excavations in the Western Wall Tunnels. He also joined them in prayer, prior to the historic flight, for the success of peace with the UAE, for the health of those stricken by the coronavirus in Israel, the United States, and around the world, and with the approach of the Jewish New Year, they prayed for a year of health and blessings for all.
The Western Wall is a holy site. Please show respect to the site and those who pray here: Please refrain from eating, smoking, lighting candles and dress appropriately.On Jewish Sabbath and Holidays, refrain from using electronic devices, using amplification systems and taking pictures.
The Western Wall Plaza hosts approximately 60,000 people. It symbolizes the Jewish link to Jerusalem and serves as the synagogue closest to the remains of both Holy Temples.
The Western Wall's visible stones tell of its history from the time of the Holy Temples' ruin. The original Herodian stones are distinct from the others in size and in their unique borders.
The building style of "grading" used when layering the Western Wall's stones, teaches us that the Temple Mount's walls were not perpendicular but marginally sloping.
הכותל המערבי, העיר העתיקה, ירושלים
A magical audio presentation that illustrates the chain of generations of the Jewish people and the eternal connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem.
The Western Wall Prayer Plaza is open every day of the year, twenty-four hours a day
The women's section in the Western Wall Tunnels closes on Fridays at 13:00 and opens again about 15 minutes before Shabbat begins.
We all know that the Western Wall, the Kotel, is the most significant site in the world for the Jewish people. We know that it is the last remnant of our Temple.We also know that Jews from around the world gather here to pray.People write notes to G-d and place them between the ancient stones of the Wall.But did you know that...Many important events took place on Mount Moriah, know later as Temple Mount.