Aish HaTorah's
Western Wall Tunnel Tour





 

1) INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the Old City of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount. The Western Wall. This is where it all began--Life, the Universe and Everything -- in the most wondrous sense of the word.

Take a moment to look around. Listen to the sounds of the place, the hopeful chants of the people who come to pray here, the birds chirping from their perches in the Wall, the wail of the Moslem muzzein -- and yes, even the crackle of a soldier's walkie-talkie as he rushes to pray at the Wall. Are his buddies at the front in Lebanon? The Golan Heights? On guard somewhere else, perhaps?

Let your thoughts move beyond the every-day clutter and noise. Take a breath and marvel at the wonder of it all. Try to sense the great trek of history in this place. It almost seems that you can hear the stones whispering to us all, calling us to take in, if only for a moment, the legends of our forefathers, the hopes and dreams of the Jewish people.

Here is where our father Abraham taught the world the meaning of Monotheism -- the belief in One, Loving G-d. Here is where the Jewish people showed the nations that we are most human when we yearn to connect to the Almighty. Here is where, even now, the eyes of mankind stare in wonder at the contrast of ruin and rebirth, exile and nationhood, war and the eternal hope for peace.

Here the gates are open, where each day we can find new insights into ourselves, our world and our Creator. Truly, a moment to be treasured.

Today we will explore that remnant of the Temple, known as the Western Wall, or "Kotel" in Hebrew. Along the way we'll be privileged to view some wondrous archaeological discoveries. But more than just bricks and stone, we'll also discover a whole new spiritual world -- literally under our feet.

Let's take a closer look. ...


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Jewish
Calendar
Date
CULTURAL
TIMELINE
2000
CANAANITES - Pagan
Abraham Patriarchal Period
2500
ISRAELITES - Jewish
1244 BCE - 422 BCE
3000
BABYLONIANS - Pagan
422 BCE - 355 BCE
PERSIANS - Pagan
355 BCE - 323 BCE
GREEKS - Pagan
323 BCE - 165 BCE
HASMONEANS - Jewish
165 BCE - 63 BCE
3500
ROMANS - Pagan
63 BCE - 324 CE
4000
BYZANTINE - Christian
324 CE - 638 CE
EARLY MOSLEMS -
638 CE - 1099 CE
4500
CRUSADERS - Christian
1099 CE - 1187 CE
MOSLEMS Return - under Saladin
1187 CE - 1249 CE
5000
MAMELUKES - Moslem
1249 CE - 1517 CE
OTTOMAN TURKS - Moslem
1517 CE - 1920 CE
5500
BRITISH Mandate - Christian
1920 CE - 1948 CE
State of ISRAEL
Jordan controls Old City; All Jews banned from the Western Wall
1948 CE - 1967 CE
ISRAEL - Jewish
Six-Day War Old City Reclaimed
1967 CE --


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