Photo: Eli Mandelbaum
Worshippers say 'kinnot' on floor on Western Wall plaza
Photo: Eli Mandelbaum

Tens of thousands mourn at Western Wall

Jewish worshippers flock to remnant of ancient wall that surrounded Jewish Temple's courtyard to commemorate destruction of First, Second Temple as part of fast day of Tisha B'Av. 'We thought salvation would come this year, but the Jewish people have yet to be saved,' one of mourners tells Ynet

VIDEO - Tens of thousands of Jewish worshippers began flocking to the Western Wall plaza on Monday evening to commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temple in Jerusalem as part of the fast day of Tisha B'Av.


The believers are sitting on the ground barefoot as a sign of mourning, reading the Book of Lamentations and saying "kinnot," a series of liturgical lamentations, at the remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple's courtyard.


Video courtesy of


The prayers and expressions of mourning continued throughout the night and will go on until the end of the fast on Tuesday evening.


This year, the Tisha B'Av fast is taking place at the same time as the Muslims' Ramadan fast. The Western Wall plaza and Temple Mount area was occasionally blocked as 40,000 Muslims left the al-Aqsa Mosque after the Ramadan prayers, creating some friction between the populations.


"I am here to mourn the Temple's destruction with tens of thousands of the Jewish people," one of the worshippers cried out. "The glorious and large house of Divine presence. God would reside in this big and holy house, and now it is gone. We have been mourning for thousands of years. We thought salvation and serenity would come this year, but the Jewish people have yet to be saved."


Repairing sin of unfounded hatred

Another worshipper told Ynet, "We are mourning a house destroyed 2,000 years ago, and the Jewish people have not despaired of waiting every year for the messiah to come and build the Temple.


"In light of everything going on in this country – the unfounded hatred between religious, haredim and seculars – we are here to prove that despite it all, we have faith that the messiah will arrive and unit everyone, and everything will be good."


The Western Wall is not the only place where the Temple's destruction is lamented. Millions of Jews in Israel and around the world are marking the day by fasting. This is the second most important fast in the Jewish calendar after Yom Kippur. In addition to not eating and drinking, worshippers avoid bathing, wearing leather shoes and sexual relations.


Members of Israel's different sectors met across the country on the eve of Tisha B'Av to engage in a dialogue and repair the sin of unfounded hatred, which led to the destruction of the Second Temple according to tradition.


Temple Mount activists marked the destruction in recent days by visiting the holy site in large numbers. On Tuesday morning, however, police closed the Temple Mount to Jewish visitors due to the Ramadan fast, a move which led to protests on the part of the Temple movements.


Eli Mandelbaum contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 07.16.13, 13:14
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