So, my schedule here in Jerusalem is very full and intense, which means that blogging is difficult to get around to. With so many photos and video clips taken, I thought that I'd be selective here and offer just a few shots of the Wailing Wall (or Western Wall or Solomon's Wall) within the Old City (the term "Old City" is used to refer to ancient Jerusalem, which was a walled city and which is different, of course, than modern Jerusalem, which surrounds it). So, here are some photos and a videos with brief descriptions.
(This is a picture from near the old German hospital looking diagonally towards the Wailing Wall. The Wall is located just below the Muslim Dome of the Rock, which is related to the near Al Aqsa Mosque (which would be just off to the right of this picture). The Wall is known as the Western Wall as it is located on the Western portion of the temple mount in 2nd Temple / King Solomon period. It is nick-named the Wailing Wall because Jews can often be heard lamenting or wailing there, crying out for the coming of the Messiah, among other things. Click the image to make the photo larger.)
(If you look at the bottom right corner of this picture, you will notice a group of young boys following a father who is carrying his son upon his shoulders. They are all singing and making noise. They are celebrating the boys Bar Mitzvah. This particular day is Dec. 27th, 2011, which is the day before Hanukkah ends. There were numerous celebrations (see the video below) which were taking place in this area on that day.)
(Here you can see Jews and even a non-Jew praying at the Wall. Non-Jews are welcome. In recent history the Pope visited the Wailing Wall and prayed there and also slipped a piece of paper through one of the cracks. Notice the giant Menorah off to the right in the photo. It has 9 candelabras, which is different from the traditional 7-armed menorah. The 9-armed menorah is in celebration of Hanukkah.)
(In this picture, we are looking at a portion of the Wall which is located under a tunnel. Within this tunnel there are large bookcases with Hebrew scriptures and commentaries. There are also many desks. Devout and studied Jews will often sit in this tunnel, facing the Wall, and meditate, pray, study, read, etc. Notice those stand and those sitting. Also take note of the differences in garb, some being traditional and some not.)
(Again, here is a shot of some folks reading and praying.)