The Western Wall
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Lament of the Faithful
Known in Hebrew as the Kotel, the Western Wall is singularly the holiest of sites for Jews. On the other side of the Western Wall is the Temple Mount. For centuries, Temple Mount was the location of the sacred First and Second Temples for the Jews. Today, both temples are gone and Temple Mount is controlled by the Palestinian Authority; Jews are not allowed to step on it so the Wall is the closest they can get to where their temples once stood. Every day, faithful Jews go to the Wall to pray and to read from the Torah. With each word spoken and every muscle of their body, as they rhythmically rock back and forth, they are lamenting the loss of their Temples and thousands of years of struggle to preserve their religion and reclaim their home land. For three days in row, I went the Wall and both it and the plaza that fronts it were always packed with people. It turned the Wall into more of a tourist site than a place for reflection and prayer. On the fourth day, I got up at the crack of dawn and headed down to the Wall. The plaza was virtually empty but faithful Jews were already there, tallits draped across their shoulders. Although I still had to stand quite a distance away from them and the Wall itself, the entire place was so quiet that their emotional pain was finally palpable to me. Being in their space was a truly moving experience and one I will not forget. If you go to the Wall, go as early as you can and then queue up for entry to Temple Mount afterwards.
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Although I am not Jewish a felt that I had to visit Jerusalem's Wailing Wall. While I expected the level of security what surprised me was the sheer number of people who were there. With a different section marked off for women, and numerous religious comings and goings, it was an ideal time to take in what faith, belief and religion mean for mankind and how they have affected - for good and bad - the world we live in today.
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Easter Morning in Jerusalem
After spending the majority of the morning walking through the maze-like city of Jerusalem, I stopped to take a break in a location that provided a great view of the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock. The sun peaked out from the clouds just long enough for me to capture this picture.
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Not ready for prayer-time.
The contrast of the father's focus with the child's expression was irresistible.
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He and The Western Wall
Objects have great power. The great power of Israel and many jews can be found in great bricks of stone that form one of the most visited and sacred sites in the world. The Western Wall is one of the main sites of the city and the base stone for one of the biggest monotheistic religions in the world. I had the opportunity to make this trip with my mother. The picture was taken a rainy day when everyone there was no one but one person. This is one of my favorite pictures.
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