And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Mat 24:1-2)This note will show that it is Jewish mysticism, called Kabbalah, that is responsible for claiming this wall as part of the temple that stood in Jesus Christ's day.
The Dome of
the Rock that presently sits on the temple grounds in Jerusalem is only
1,000 feet north of the Gihon Spring. This is simply not where the Wailing
Wall is presently located.
No Jewish person was allowed inside Jerusalem for the next 55 years. When they did return, they felt that the Dome of the Rock might have been placed where it stands for a significant reason. Benjamin of Tudela, in 1169 A.D., first suggested that the site where the Dome of the Rock stands was where the Temple stood. And one hundred years later saw all Jews accepting this thought.
The western area where the present Wailing Wall is located, served as absolutely no interest to the Jews until the 16th century.
The western wall that earlier Jews gathered at was around the Gihon Spring. It was there that a new temple construction was started in the time of Constantine (313-325 A.D.), and a second time in the days of Julian the Apostate (362 A.D.). The remnant of the wall for the holy of holies was where all Jews gathered and considered the Western Wall. Benjamin of Tudela changed all of that.
From the time of the Crusades until the Ottoman Empire of 1517 A.D., Jews gathered at the Eastern side of the present Wailing Wall on the Mount of Olives.
Rabbi Jacob, 1238-1244 A.D., wrote: "we ascend the Mount of Olives…until we reach a platform which is on the Mount of Olives, where the Red Heifer was slain, and we go uphill to the platform which faces the Temple gate. Thence we see the Temple Mount and all the buildings upon it, and we pray in the direction of the Temple" (Elkan Adler, Jewish Travellers in the Middle Ages , p. 117).
Nothing was said about any Wailing Wall, or the Haram esh-Sharif .
In 1520 A.D. the Jews changed their minds as to what remaining walls were part of the Temple. This was when the Wailing Wall was chosen.
Meir Ben Dov wrote a book entitled THE WESTERN WALL. He claims solidly that the Wailing Wall is not the Western Wall that was mentioned in early Jewish writings.
"There is a tradition that the Temple’s Western Wall remained standing [after the Roman/Jewish War of 66 to 73 A.D.]."
"This is not a reference to the western wall of the Temple Mount [the present Wailing Wall of the Haram, emphasis mine] — all of its walls [those of the Haram] have survived to this day. The western wall about which it was prophesied [by Jews in the Talmudic period] that it would never be destroyed, is the Western Wall of the actual sanctuary, and in the course of time, it [the Western Wall of Herod’s Temple] was razed to the ground completely" (The Western Wall, p.27).No Jew in history before the sixteenth century thought that outer Western Wall of the Haram esh-Sharif was holy and important.
"One day he (the Sultan Selim) saw from his window, an old gentile woman, more than ninety years of age, bring a sack or box (basket) of garbage and drop it at a spot near his office. He became very angry...and sent one of his slaves to bring the woman and her sack. When she came he asked to which people she belonged and she told him that she was a Roman (Christian). He then asked her where she lived and she answered: ‘Not far from here, about two days’ walk’ [Bethlehem] and explained that that was why she was tired because, according to the custom the Roman leadership imposed, everyone who lived in Jerusalem had to deposit garbage at that spot [that became the Western Wall] at least once a day; those who lived in the environs of the city had to do it twice a week and those who lived at least three days away had to do it once every thirty days, because that place was the house of Israel’s God [the site of the Temple] and when they were not able to destroy it completely, they decreed, by a ban,….that the name of Israel should never again be mentioned concerning it.
"Therefore," (said the old Woman), "do not be angry that I came with a bag of garbage to your royal court. I meant no offence to you. The king, may he rest in paradise, listened to everything the woman had to say and then told his slaves to detain her until he had investigated the matter to see if she spoke the truth …. His slaves brought to him many others who brought (sacks of garbage) and he interrogated them and found that they told the same story as the woman….
"He (the Sultan) opened his store of silver and gold and took several bags of coins as well as a basket and a hoe which he slung over his back. He issued a proclamation: ‘All who love the King and want to give him satisfaction should watch and follow suit!.’ He then went to the garbage heap and scattered a bagful of coins so that the poor should dig for them, and, out of their love of money, clear the garbage away. He (the Sultan) stood over them and encouraged them…. Every day he scattered more coins…. For some thirty days, more than ten thousand people cleared away garbage until he revealed the Western Wall and the foundations as they can be seen today by everybody…." [End of first quote from the book by Meir Ben-Dov titled "The Western Wall."]
"The hero of the second, parallel story about the discovery of the Wall is the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the son of the Selim, referred to above. The author (or source) of this story is Eliezer Nahman Poa (17th century) and he attaches the story to the verse, ‘He raises up the needy from the earth; He lifts up the poor from the garbage heap ’ (Psalm 113:7). Poa brings the story from an oral tradition and introduces it with the words, "And this was told to me:"
"In the days of the king Sultan Suleiman, nobody knew the location of the Temple [emphasis mine], so he ordered a search of Jerusalem to find it.
"One day, the man in charge of the search who had already given up hope [of discovering the true site of the Temple], saw a woman coming and on her head was a basket full of garbage and filth.
"What is that on your head?" he asked.
"Garbage," she said.
"Where are you taking it?"
"To such-and-such a place."
"Where are you from?"
"And between Bethlehem and this place are there no garbage dumps? "
"We have a tradition that anyone who brings garbage and dumps it here is performing a meritorious deed.
"This must be it said the man [it must be the place of the Temple] , and [the captain] ordered many men to clear out the garbage from that spot. The garbage which, because of the great time that had passed, had turned into earth at the bottom. And so he uncovered the holy place. He went and told the king who rejoiced greatly and ordered them to clear and sweep (the place) and wash the Wall with rose-water." [End of the second account recorded in the book "The Western Wall."]
"Once the holy Ha-Ari said to Rabbi Abraham: ‘Know that your days are numbered and that you will soon die if you will not do as I tell you: but if you do, you will yet live another twenty-two years. This is what I bid you do: Go to Jerusalem and pour out your prayers before the Wailing Wall and you will prove yourself worthy by seeing the divine Presence there.’ Rabbi Abraham went home, shut himself in his house for three days and three nights, clothed himself in sackcloth and ashes, and fasted the whole time. Then he went forth to Jerusalem; he stood before the Wailing Wall in prayer, deep meditation, and weeping. The image of a woman, clad in black, appeared to him on the face of the wall. Immediately he fell upon the ground in great fear. Tearing his hair, he cried in a loud voice: ‘Woe is me, what have I seen?’ Finally he fell in a deep slumber and in a dream the divine Presence appeared to him, clad in fine raiment, and said to him: ‘Console thyself, My son Abraham; there is yet hope for thee, and the children of Israel will return to their inheritance, and I will have mercy on them.’ He arose and returned to Safed, and when Ha-Ari the Holy saw him, he said to him at once: ‘Now I know that you have seen the Divine Presence and you can rest assured that you will live another twenty-two years" (Legends of Jerusalem , pp.165,166).Halevy lived exactly 22 more years and the Jews felt for certain this experience was of God.