Wailing Wall Prayers

Wailing Wall Prayers - Jerusalem

Shavuot Festival Wailing Wall Prayers Jerusalem Chamber
Wailing Wall Prayers

Wailing Wall Prayers

The Western Wall of Jerusalem is also called the "Wailing Wall". These orthodox Jews, including the two on the left wearing prayer shawls, are neither wailing nor in prayers, but reciting prayers from books while rocking back and forth to concentrate. Prayers are also written on pieces of paper, folded and stuck in the wall's crevices, which are full of them.

Why is Wailing Wall even called the Wailing Wall? The answer dates from the Middle Ages when Jerusalem's European residents often found Jewish visitors wailing at the wall to lament the loss of Jerusalem and Israel.

Near the wall, an orthodox Jewish woman explained to me that Jews' earthly religious efforts determine the rewards they receive in the next world. There, she explained, each Jew will be served by 2,800 gentiles, who will also get some rewards if they keep in this life another set of laws intended for them. In bidding me farewell, she said she enjoyed our conversation and added, "It would give me pleasure if you became one of my servants." I was tempted to ask her about the remuneration package she had in mind for my services, but she was serious so I just smiled and thanked her for her kind consideration.

Travel Tip
Israel's orthodox Jews, typically dressed in black, pretty much keep to themselves and avoid contact with non-Jews. If you are a man, refrain from offering a handshake to greet orthodox Jewish women; the only men they are allowed to touch are their husbands.

Shavuot Festival Jerusalem Chamber