The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem is regarded as the most holy of Jewish sites, when it was built some 2000 years ago it was merely a retaining wall supporting the outer portion of the Temple Mount, upon which stood the Second Temple. (The Second Temple was constructed around 520 BC.) Following the destruction of the tomb in AD 70 the precise location of the temple was lost after the Jews were sent into exile and on their return, out of fear of treading on the ancient inner sanctum of the temple barred to all except high priests, they instead started preying at the wall which is said to still contain the shechina (divine presence.)

The area immediately in front of the Wall now operates as a great open-air synagogue. It`s divided into two areas, a small southern section for women and a more active, larger northern section for men. There are many activities held here on various days including the celebration of the arrival of Shabbat on Fridays when large groups of students congregate to dance and sing and bar mitzvahs which are held on the Shabbat or on Monday and Thursday mornings. The Wall is open to all faiths, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Modest dress is recommended and a kippa is required (paper kippas are available if you don`t have one). Be discreet when taking photos, and don’t take any photos at all during Shabbat.

To find out the best time to visit Israel and to speak to someone that knows the area please call Susie our Israelian luxury holiday specialist: 01923 289 100