Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Risk of Collapse at the Kotel

Picture courtesy of

The "Mugrabi Hill" alongside the women's section of the Kotel is in danger of collapse -- and will therefore be removed, along with the wooden bridge leading to the Mugrabi Gate which enters the Temple Mount.

The issue at hand is that there will no longer be any entrance to the Temple Mount under Israeli control, but rather under the Palestinian Authority's "Waqf" guards.

The fear brewing is that Jews who wish to visit Har Habayit will no longer be able to do so. While the issue remains rather foreign to religious Jews from abroad, there exists a growing number of Jews who visit Har HaBayit after going to the mikva and are very careful about where they can walk -- so that they can visit Har Habayit according to halacha.

Obviously, there still exists a disagreement whether Jews are allowed there from a halachik perspective, but for those who rely on rabbanim that one knows where we are halachikally permitted to walk -- this option may quickly disappear. (Just as an FYI, The Rambam visited Har Habayit when he was in Eretz Yisrael, and even celebrated the day as a holiday)

In 1166 C.E. the Rambam made a pilgrimage to Israel from his home in Egypt, writing of his trip:
"We left Acco for Jerusalem under perilous conditions. I entered into 'the great and holy house' [the term used to refer to the Holy Temple] and prayed there on the sixth day of the month of Cheshvan. And on the first day of the week, the ninth day of the month of Cheshvan, I left Jerusalem for Hebron to kiss the graves of my forefathers in the Cave of Machpela. And on that very day, I stood in the Cave and I prayed, praised be G-d for everything. And these two days, the sixth [when he prayed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem] and the ninth of Mar-Heshvan I vowed to make as a special holiday and in which I will rejoice with prayer, food and drink. May the Lord help me to keep my vows...."

Unfortunately, at least for the time being till an alternative solution (or a permanent bridge is built), YNET reports:
Within the next few days, the Western Wall authorities will begin demolishing Mugrabi hill, after it was discovered that the dirt paving beneath it was at risk of collapsing, along with the temporary wooden bridge that was built at the site.

The Mugrabi Gate is the only opening through which Jews may go up the hill, and destroying the hill will prevent this as well.

The dirt paving in the Western Wall's square, the Mugrabi hill, leads to the Mugrabi Gate, one of the Temple Mount's entrances.

This is the only Gate which is under complete Israeli control, without Wakf supervision. Therefore, the paving is used by Jews as a crossing to reach the Mount.

May we be merit the building of the Third Beit HaMikdash speedily in our days.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Anonymous said...

irrelevant:cool new banner, very colorful

Anonymous said...

Agreed about the banner - very nice.

What sort of numbers are we talking about? I wasn't aware that Jews were allowed entry legally (if that's the right word), even with the halachic opinions supporting this practice.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Prag: Thanks!

Ifyouwillit: Go to any of the sites hyperlinked in the posting above. There are LOTS of people who go (sometimes hundreds a day when possible)

Knitter of shiny things said...

Can't they just build a new, free-standing ramp leading to that gate?

kasamba said...

How terrible it would be for another holy site to be off limits!

Moze said...

Is it just the hill being demolished, or also the room where the women's siddurim are kept? That room is of historical import, aside from being next to the kotel: it was the birthing room belonging to the midwife of the old yishuv.

Batya said...

good question moze

Jameel, love that new banner! Who did it?

bec said...

i hope olmert isn't in charge of this project, otherwise, he might demolish the whole kotel and put up a golden staircase leading to the mosque....

Truth said...


Maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing (as long as we get to use the staircase)...


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Batya: Sarah did the banner (I wrote about the banner in a previous posting which announced it)

Bec: Truth's correct - if we get to use the staircase, things would be good :)

Anonymous said...

Why would Rambam have been travelling to Jerusalem from Egypt via Acco?

Came across your journal via multiple links and stopped by for a read.

I'm MustBeCrazy at Livejournal.

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