The Western Wall was built by King Herod in 70 ad, but the actual stones and the surrounding areas were there when Jesus was still walking on the earth. The Wall is part of the structure which supports the Temple Mount from the west. This is considered to be the supreme holy Jewish site in the world. There are Torahs for loan and purchase, women crying and praying fervently, and crowds of people, many denominations, trying to stick their prayer requests into the crevices in the wall, no small task. (Our group had many prayer requests which we put on the Wall) The praying areas are divided into male and female, with a man made divider separating the two sides. The men’s section, filled with Orthodox Jews along with many other men, is larger than the women’s side ( our guide said that it is because women pray all the time so they provided them less space. I think this implies that men pray less in general, but the men’s side looked very busy). Entrance into the Wall was a long process, security as always in the Middle East at a high level. No Christian bibles are allowed, and we were asked to cover our crosses and cover our heads. The Western Wall is apparently never deserted; even throughout the night there is always someone there praying, meditating, reading the Torah or putting in prayer requests. It was a moving experience to be a part of such spiritual and historical significance.
Nearby, located on the Temple Mount is the Dome of the Rock, which is considered sacred to both Jews and Muslims. The Temple Mount has remained sacred in Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition since it was sanctified by God when King Solomon completed its first building. The Dome building itself is covered with ceramic tiles on the outside, but the Dome’s pure gold, a donation to Jerusalem from Jordan’s King Hussein, is a beautiful sight from all over Jerusalem. Viewing the skyline of the old city from anywhere, the Dome is a focal point, considered the foundation stone of the world. According to Islamic tradition, Mohammed ascended into heaven from here on a horse and left hoofprints behind. Jerusalem–truly God’s city for all.