Jewish Prayer At The Western Wall: “Judaizing An Islamic Holy Icon”

SPECIAL NOTICE: Yom Kippur begins at sundown this evening and extends until tomorrow evening when three stars appear. Please note that there will be no israelstreet blog or breaking news during that 24 hour period. For those of you who will be fasting, your humble servant wishes you a “Tzom Kal” (an “easy fast”).

UPDATE 10 am Israel time Tuesday:

All of Israel has gone on highest security alert for Yom Kippur. All border crossings into Israel have been closed, and all checkpoints into and out of Judea and Samaria are closed. Security personnel are on special alert at all sensitive locations such as synagogues, cemeteries, and prayer sites.

Two more facts about the terrorist incident on the Egyptian border several days ago have emerged:

1. Unlike what was previously reported, Netanel Yahalomi was the first IDF soldier to engage the terrorists when they opened fire. It was a bullet from his rifle that killed the first terrorist.

2. The third terrorist was killed by a female sniper from the Karkal Batallion.


The Kotel in Jerusalem last Thursday--can you imagine that 100,000 people were in this plaza last night?

It is estimated that 100,000 Jews crowded into the plaza in front of the Kotel (Western Wall) last night for the final Selichot (penitential prayers) before Yom Kippur. The prayers were led by Israel’s Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger as well as Shas’ Head Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Rabbi of the Kotel and Holy Places Shmuel Rabinowitz began the services by pointing out: “You can see that the things that separate us are small, but the things that unite us are large. All of the Jewish people come here to connect to G-d and tradition.”

One of the many school groups at the Kotel last Thursday. Note the ramp up to the Mughrabi Gate to the right, the only entrance the Islamic Wakf will allow non-Muslims to use to ascend to the Temple Mount--Judaism's holiest place.

You might be interested to know, dear reader, that the Palestinian leadership and Arab media have spent this last week leading up to Yom Kippur bewailing the fact that the Jewish activity at the Jewish Kotel is being used “to Judaize Islamic holy icons in Jerusalem.” Ahmed Qurei, a member of the PLO Executive Committee went so far as to flatulently declare that such activities as prayers and bar mitzvahs at the Western Wall “reflect the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem and its vulnerable religious and historical symbols.”

Islamic holy icons? The Temple Mount where the First and Second Temples stood for a thousand years is an Islamic holy icon? The Kotel (Western Wall) is an Islamic holy icon? Jewish prayers and bar mitzvahs in the Jewish Quarter reflect the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem? 

In yesterday’s blog, I commented that no matter how much you give to the Palestinians, you can be sure that they will then spit in your face.  You may remember that during last month, in a gesture of peace, Israel allowed 1,000,000 Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount during Ramadan (and would not allow any Jews at Judaism’s holiest site).

But did that satisfy the Palestinians? Of course not–now the Palestinians have the brazen and unmitigated gall to try to control what Jews do in the Jewish Quarter in front of the Western Wall of the First and Second Jewish Temples.

It is simply unbelievable.

And as I wrote yesterday, it is just as unbelievable that Israel caters to Palestinian Muslims and allows the Islamic Wakf to control what happens on the Temple Mount. It is high time to dispense with all “peace gestures” and to kick the Islamic Wakf off of the Temple Mount.

As you know from previous blogs this week and the pictures above, your humble servant was in Jerusalem last Thursday, and of course, I went to the Kotel.  Below are a few more pictures that I took–and a short video I shot of one of the many bar mitzvahs that were taking place while I was there:

You cannot stand at the Kotel without being immersed in Judaism and Jewish history.


When your humble servant goes to the Kotel, I always like to look up and wonder when the Third Temple will finally be built.


Finally, you can click on the following link for a very small video clip (15 seconds) that I took of a bar mitzvah on Thursday. As you watch the video (click here) note that the bar mitzvah is obviously taking place in the men’s section and the women of the family are above the divider to the right. In the background, you can see women in the women’s section looking over that divider at another bar mitzvah. When the bar mitzvah finishes, the women ululate and throw candy to the young man.

A daily feature of this blog is the recognition of those of you who support Israel by donating to this website. Each month, your humble servant places each name on this wall of support into the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Today we are highlighting “Chen” from Singapore, and “Hong-bin” from Seoul.

To have your own Israeli flag, simply follow two steps:

Step 1: Click on the “Support Israel Street! Donate” button in the right hand column and submit your information.

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