This is a video taken at the Western Wall, known at the Kotel. The Kotel is the last remaining wall, the retaining wall of the area know as the Temple Mount. Jews have been praying here for all of the last 2,000 years...except during the 19 years in which the Jordanians ruled the Old City. For that period, Jews were denied access to this place, this holy site.
The Arabs have attempted to deny us our history. They say the only significance of this site is that Mohammed put his donkey there. They say the Jews have no historical connection to the Temple Mount. They say that it was Ishmael and not Isaac who was nearly sacrificed on the rock around which they built their mosque. They say...and in their words are the lies of hatred and denial.
The Kotel is an amazing place. It touches your soul, pulls out of it all your hopes and dreams. You stand there and you need, simply need to touch it. And when you do, words flow from your heart. Please God, please watch over my children. Keep them safe. Please God, please heal the wounded of Israel. Please send comfort to those who have lost. Please watch over the orphans. Please guard our sons as they guard us. Please God, please.
Almost 24 hours a day, Jews go to the Kotel to pray. You can watch this amazing reality at www.thekotel.org. Many months ago, a family from America wrote to tell me that their son was going to have a ceremony at the Kotel - his swearing in ceremony as a new recruit in the Paratroopers. The mother was flying in from the US to be with her son, but they had decided that the young man's father would stay at home. He was sad to miss his son's ceremony, but accepted that it was a decision they had made.
I wrote to them and told them about this site and soon the mother wrote to me and told me that her husband was so excited that he would be able to watch the ceremony that he just kept staring at the computer screen, watching the Western Wall, as people came, prayed and left.
In the 1800s, Arabs were throwing garbage down on the Jews from above. The wall is the retaining wall because the land is so much higher on the other side, where once our Holy Temple stood. A wealthy European Jew named Moses Montefiore donated money to add smaller stones to raise the level of the wall and protect the Jewish worshipers from the Arabs above.
The final level - a single row of lighter, smaller stones, was placed by the army to create a flat area upon which, if necessary, soldiers could quickly move.
This past Friday, as many Jews came to the Western Wall - Arabs from above began pelting them with rocks. The Western Wall is, as I mentioned, the last remaining wall of the Temple - the retaining wall of the outer perimeter. In fact, it is a story in itself. The bottom walls date back to the First Temple; the second level, a bit smaller, are from the Second Temple.
Here is a video - captured by the cameras that so enthralled a lone soldier's father and brought him the happy knowledge that he would not miss his son's ceremony. Here is a video - of Arabs in 2011 pelting Jewish worshipers. You can't see the stones, but you can certainly hear and see the reaction as people run for cover.
Here is the video: