A Tour Around The Western Wall In Jerusalem
The Western Wall
Certainty, a tour around the Western Wall should be the first destination of your stay in Israel. Therefore, because of the great holiness of the Western Wall, i.e. the Temple’s Wall, it is undoubtedly a notable site, which every Jew aspires to visit. Above all, according to Jewish tradition, this is the Temple’s place, the holiest and most central Jerusalem location. As written in the Halacha, one should pray with the heart towards Jerusalem and the Temple. Besides its religious importance, the Western Wall has historical and national significance.
A Walk Through The Alleys Of The Jewish Quarter
Indeed, it is not a coincidence that the Wailing Wall attracts about 10 million visitors in a year, coming from Israel and overseas. Therefore, excursions in Judaism’s holy places became very common in old Jerusalem being an essential and fascinating experience. For instance, a famous promenade includes reaching the Western Wall by foot, from the ‘Hurva Synagogue‘ through the Jewish Quarter’s alleys, with several fascinating sites worth visiting.
The Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem is amid an ancient wall, and it is divided into quarters. One of those four districts is the Jewish Quarter, which is about one-fifth of the Old City. Walking, you can notice the characteristic ancient houses, where most of the residents are Jews, and the many religious buildings. Moreover, you will find archaeological sites, souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafes. Chabad Street, Maalot Yehuda Halevi Street, and HaYehudim Street are the Jewish Quarter’s main streets. The magic is in every corner of the Old City, mainly because of its unique history.
A Tour Around The Western Wall: Synagogues in the Jewish Quarter
We will start the walk at the Hurva Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter because it became one of the Old City of Jerusalem’s symbols. Throughout history, several times, it took place the destruction and rebuilding of the wall. The Hurva Synagogue is one of the most magnificent synagogues in the city with impressive beauty. A few minutes walk from the Synagogue, there is the Hurva Square, which is between the Chabad and the main Jewish streets.
The Four Sephardic Synagogues
The Four Sephardic Synagogues is a complex of four Synagogues belonging to the Sephardic community. Among them, the most important is the Yochanan Ben Zakai Synagogue. The Chief Rabbi “Rishon LeZion” Yitzchak Yosef, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, is appointed in these Sephardic Synagogues. A shofar and jug of pure olive oil are in the dome of these synagogues because in the future they might be useful when the Messiah would come. The other three Sephardic synagogues are the Istanbuli, Emtzai, and Eliahu Ha’navi Synagogues, with their history and beauty. After the War of Independence, the synagogue complex was restored, and it was open to worshipers afterwards.
The Many Archaeological Sited Of The Old Jerusalem
The Israelite Tower
In the Jewish Quarter, there are many archaeological sites. The Israelite Tower is one of these sites, whose discover happened by chance during the Jewish Quarter’s restoration, after the Six-Day War. It is an ancient tower 8 meters high, built of fieldstones. The Tower was probably part of a gate tower during the First Temple period. The archaeological site contains remains of the Israelite building, whose foundation came from Jerusalem’s wall dating back to the First Temple’s period; close to it, there is the Hasmonean Tower, dating back to the Second Temple’s period.
The Temple Institute
The Temple Institute is another fascinating site, which has been operating for over 30 years with the goal and clear vision to bring the Temple concept closer to the Jewish consciousness in the daily context. In the Temple Institute, there is an exact model of the Temple, and paintings of the Temple created by various artists. In the Institute’s museum, there is an exhibition of renewed temple vessels, which had been accurately restored according to sources. At the Temple Institute, fascinating lectures, and classes are suitable for all ages.
How To Get To The Hurva Synagogue
The Hurva Synagogue can be reached from the Jerusalem-Yitzhak Navon train station with line 1, the light rail to the Jaffa Municipality station, and a short walk. You can get from Jerusalem Central Station to Keren Hayesod/Shalom Aleichem Station, Egged bus lines 74, 75, and 18. From there, take line 38 to the Jewish Quarter to the Kishla/Armenian Patriarchate station.
A Walk From The Hurva Synagogue To The Western Wall
The Hurva Synagogue walk to the Western Wall is short and fast, only about 7 minutes. But it is delightful walking on longer roads, through the Jewish Quarter’s alleys and its unique sites. Indeed the Jewish Quarter is full of beauty, charm, with refreshing and delicious stops along the way. The Jewish Quarter’s signage is convenient and straightforward; you can walk around as much as you want, and reach every destination quickly; of course, the leading attraction is the Western Wall.