edit: Okay, just saw an Orthodox black hat guy talking into a cell phone just feet away from the Kotel. Next to him, a man in a talit and tefillin was taking pics of a little boy.

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  • Geez, TM. Stop this Zionist propaganda. Don’t you know that according to the venerated Grand Muffti of Jerusalem that not a single stone in Jerusalem indicates any history of Jewish presence in Palestine? The Kotel is a modern Jewish Zionist fantasy!

  • I wonder why there’s no page on tisha b’av?
    I’m also a bit disappointed that the Kotel is being reinforced as the mission, not the temple [mount].

  • josh, I couldn’t agree more, it’s one of my pet peevs. Everyone’s always like ‘the kotel, the kotel’, it borders on wall worship. But people, it’s just a retaining wall thats actually keeping us OUT of where the real deal is.

  • Well, we ain’t getting into the real deal anytime soon. Not only that, but thanks to Israeli complicity with the Waqf’s construction of a new mosque under the Haram Al Sharif, most of the evidence and remnants of the “real deal” are no longer there. They have been removed. So we will look through the Kotel with our x-ray vision and imagine what is behind it…

    It’s a wall, but it’s a special wall. Best of all, it’s ours.

  • Frankly, so is what is beyond the wall T_M. And while I am all about tolerance and respect, the Waqf can blow me. We may allow them to occupy the place, but under no circumstances should it be forgotten that they are there by virtue of our good grace, and that their presence there is not a permanent one.

  • TM writes “Well, we ain’t getting into the real deal anytime soon”…actually we can. It seems to be a little known fact (i should write a post about this actually) but Non-muslims are allowed onto Har HaBayit (the temple mount) Sunday thru thursday, except for holidays between the hours of 7-10am. You can’t pray up there though, and spiritually speaking it’s a very big deal and you should know where not to go on the platform. Actually, there’s alot to be said about this, I will write a post when i have some time.

  • CK and Laya, I agree with you both.

    I know you’re surprised.

    As for the Har Habayit/Temple Mount being open, I still recall the last time I was there and entering the mosque.

  • when was that? you are definitely not allowed to enter the mosque nowadaysby their rules (or by jewish law).

    But since we all agree, you’ll have to excuse me while I go wait outside for Moshiach’s impending arrival. I’ll see if I can get a Jewlicious exclusive.

  • I’m trying to remember the year but I’m pretty confident it was the mid to late ’90s. I washed my feet outside and walked in.

    By the way, that’s not the Mashiach who is heading your way, that’s Grandmuffti.

  • Actually, Laya, there is a machloket haposkim (argument between rabbis) about where the holiness of the Kotel starts. Some say the wall itself is not holy; the holiness starts on the other side of the wall. Some say the “inside” of the wall is holy, which is why some say you shouldn’t put notes in the cracks. Others say the holiness is on the outside of the wall that faces the Kotel plaza so not only shouldn’t you touch it, you cannot get more than three feet of it because the Kotel extends down and widens underneath the Kotel plaza ground and if you stand right next to the wall, you’re actually standing on top of it and that’s not allowed. (I’m sorry but I don’t have the sources for these opinions.)

  • Me again. Thank you for this link. It’s much better than the Kotel Kam. Some of the pictures from Birkat Kohanim and things like that brought tears to eyes. I haven’t been to Israel in about three years and I didn’t have any plans to go again any time soon, but now I’m like, I want to go soon! How could I have stayed away for so long?

  • “the holiness is on the outside of the wall that faces the Kotel plaza so not only shouldn’t you touch it, you cannot get more than three feet of it because the Kotel extends down and widens underneath the Kotel plaza ground and if you stand right next to the wall, you’re actually standing on top of it and that’s not allowed”.

    Personally Debbie, I have never heard any opinion about this. The only amount of Holiness the Kotel has is whatever has been built up by years or people praying there. It’s just a wall that King Herod build, and the closest we were allowed to get to what is actually holy for a long, long time.

  • I will see if I can find the sources, but, honestly, I’m not so sure where to look, so it may be a while.

  • I’d heard somewhere that Jews could enter mosques because Islam had been classified by some prominent rabbis as a Noahide, monotheistic religion (as opposed to churches which were always off limits).

  • Yes, Michael, Islam is considered monotheistic while Christianity is avodah zara (idol worshipping). It’s a good thing, too, because there’s a mosque built on top of the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

    Laya, here’s a site that mostly touches on what I said, but not all of it. Will keep looking.

  • Michael, generally yes, Jews can enter mosques…just not that one. The reason is that that the dome of the rock stands right on the spot where the holy of holies was, giving it mad spiritual energy flow, and only the cohen gadol (high priest) was allowed there and then only after achieving the highest level of taharah (roughly, badly, translated as purity) which we currently don’t have access to.

    Debbie… interesting, but definitly not how I (or anybody else i know) hold(s).

  • oh, and debbie, there’s another machloket on whether christianiny is avoda zara (all of it? some of it? just the catholics? not the southern baptists? etc.)
    There’s hardly anything in this religion that is so cut and dry.

  • Laya:

    Re: the Kotel. I certainly don’t hold that you can’t go near it or put notes in it, though I never feel particularly compelled to put notes in it. But I learned this when I was in seminary so naturally the girl who was the most, hmm, how to put this nicely . . . chumra-dik(?) refused to go near it.

    Re: entering mosques. I don’t think Michael was referring to the Dome of the Rock, but mosques in general. I was referring to the mosque on top of Ma’arat Hamachpela which you were always allowed to go into until Baruch Goldstein shot the place up. It’s the actual ma’ara that you can’t go into really.

    Re: avoda zara. I have never heard that particular sects of Christianity aren’t — though possibly not Universalist Unitarian because they don’t actually believe in much of anything. I think a better question is the one of Bahai’i. I visited to the Bahai’i gardens in Haifa. Some people will and some people won’t.

  • btw re michael’s comment #1: The Grand Muffti exists only on Jewlicious and sites were people make spelling errors. Grand Mufti is that dude that runs the Waqf in Jerusalem.