Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Kotel Is Not The Holiest Place For Jews

I just heard on the radio (Reshet Bet) a short historical piece about the Kotel. What shocked me was that the narrator finished by saying "The Kotel - the holiest place for jews throughout the ages". The Kotel is not the holiest place - its not even a "place". The Kotel's holiness is only a byproduct of its physical closeness to the Temple Mount, and it having evolved into a symbol for the entire Temple.

I can't believe how often I hear people making the mistake. I even remember Ehud Barak talking of Jews keeping the Kotel, while the Temple Mount will go to the Palestinians. Evidently in his thinking the holy place for the Jews is the Kotel, and not the Temple Mount. It is time that we make it clear that the Kotel is nothing but a symbol of our wish to return to the Temple Mount.

Update: Answering an Email, I'll clarify my view. Yes the Kotel is holy - as mentioned in the Talmud. However its holiness is really only as a remainder from the temple - and it does not surpass the actual Temple, and location. I think that the reason it has reached its status of holiness is due to it embodying the wish to rebuild the temple. 
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