The Western Wall (or Kotel, in Hebrew) was part of the most magnificent building Jerusalem had ever seen, which was the Second Temple, built by King Herod the Great
The Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 CE and despite the destruction that took place, all four of the Temple Mount supporting walls remained standing. Throughout the generations since the Temple’s destruction, the Western Wall was the remnant closest to the site of the Temple’s ‘holies of holies – a place where only the Jewish High Priests were allowed, as it was there they believed God was present. The actual remains of the Temple can be found in the Western Wall Tunnels, which are an extraordinary journey through time.
For centuries Jewish and Christian people from around the world have been going there to mourn the loss of this grand temple. You will often find hundreds of people of different nationalities and religions pouring out their hearts with prayer and petition as the wall is believed to have enormous spiritual significance.
It is tradition for the people that visit to write a note and place it in the cracks of the Western Wall, as it is believed the message will be taken to God. You will often find doves resting in the crevices of this impressive structure, which are a symbol of peace.
FROM THE SCRIPTURES
“I love You, O LORD, my strength.” The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me, And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me. The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears (Psalm 18:1-6 ESV).
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:1-2 ESV).
So, the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken (John 2:18-22 ESV).