“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says Yahweh Sabaoth. (Zechariah 4: 6)
The Western Wall and Inflammatory Rhetoric: Straining at a Gnat and Swallowing a Camel
To Jewish people around the world and especially to Jewish people in Israel, the Western Wall (a.k.a., the Kotel and the Wailing Wall) is a source of great pride, and it’s regarded as a holy place.
Why is the Western Wall so important to Jewish people?
The Western Wall is important because of where it is, not what it is. The entire length of the Western Wall is 1,601 feet. Only a portion of it is visible. Most of it extends underground.
The underground portion of the Western Wall is called the Hasmonean Tunnel. There are caves in the underground portion of the Western Wall that were used for storage in ancient days. Some people have said that the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle are stored in those caves. A few rabbis have claimed that they saw the Ark of the Covenant in one of those caves while excavation was underway to open up the underground portion to the public.
That may be true. We won’t know for sure until the caves are opened up for inspection. Therein lies the rub. Any archeological work done in and around the Temple Mount by Israeli people is regarded as a change in the status quo, and violence erupts as soon as word gets out. I mean serious violence. It’s almost like a mini-war.
When the Hasmonean Tunnel was opened for visitors on September 24, 1996, violence erupted and many people were killed. It will happen again if Israel decides to do anything around the Western Wall Plaza. I mention that because enlarging and beautifying the Western Wall Plaza is on the drawing board right now. The only thing holding back the project is Muslim threats of violence.
The entire length of the Western Wall is the western part of the retaining wall around the Temple Mount that was built by Herod the Great when he masterminded the rebuilding of Yahweh’s Temple. The southern portion of the Temple Mount’s retaining wall is completely visible, and the eastern portion is almost entirely visible. Herod built the retaining wall to create a level platform that people could use when then they came to the Temple to worship Yahweh. The entire platform area is about 36 acres in size.
The entire Temple Mount platform is in the Old City of Jerusalem. Until the Six-Day War in 1967, Jewish people were not allowed free and easy access to the any part of it. When Israel liberated the Old City and the Temple Mount in 1967, things changed. The Western Wall Plaza was created, and Jewish people were encouraged to visit. The platform itself is open to Jewish visitors today, but they are harassed by Muslims on the Temple Mount if they are recognized as being Jewish.
That’s because after the Six-Day War General Moshe Dayan and Prime Minister Levi Eshkol decided to allow Muslim religious leaders to exercise day-to-day control of the Temple Mount platform. They did it to prevent an Israel vs. all Muslims situation from developing. Their goal was to contain the conflict to Israel vs. Jordanian Muslims. Their plan worked, but the violence we see today on the Temple Mount is a direct result of Israel not having day-to-day control of the Temple Mount platform.
The video below shows the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967:
The video below shows the Hasmonean Tunnel:
What’s more important to Yahweh: the Temple Mount platform or the retaining wall around the platform?
The answer to that question should be obvious, but it’s not. Simply asking the question generates a lot of heated discussion, and it can produce violence. Here’s why. As I said, the retaining wall is regarded as holy by Jewish people, but it’s just a retaining wall. Yahweh’s Temple was on the platform itself, but Israel gave it up to avoid controversy.
The platform is far more important to Yahweh than the retaining wall. It really is holy. So, in reality, Israeli leaders gave up a holy area in exchange for a retaining wall that they regard as holy.
I won’t delve into the exact location of Yahweh’s Temple on the platform. I will simply state as a fact that it was on the platform. Thus, it really is a holy place. In fact, it’s the holiest place on the planet.
Yahweh chose the Temple Mount (a.k.a., Mount Moriah), and He said,
“For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My Name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.” (2 Chronicles 7: 16)
The video below shows people worshiping at the Western Wall Plaza:
Current Controversy Concerning the Western Wall
Last Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu opened up a can of worms when he decided to shelve a mixed-gender praying area at the Western Wall. A group called Women of the Wall has been pushing for a mixed-gender space for years, but they have encountered stiff resistance from haredim, ultra-Orthodox Jews.
The video below shows a gathering of thousands of people at the Western Wall Plaza. Some of them are women demanding access to a mixed-gender prayer location along the wall. Others are haredim protesting efforts by Women of the Wall to gain access to the Western Wall:
For more details about the controversy, see the articles below:
- Decision to nix Western Wall compromise riles Diaspora
- Losing proportion
- When men and women prayed together at the Western Wall
- Sharansky: We may solve Western Wall and conversion crises. I’m not sure we can rebuild trust
Straining at a Gnat and Swallowing a Camel
It’s ridiculous to fight about access to a retaining wall while control of the Temple Mount platform is ignored. It’s time to stop making a big deal about something that isn’t a big deal and to start focusing on things that really matter.
The Temple Mount Platform matters. Rebuilding Yahweh’s Temple matters. The retaining wall doesn’t matter. The Israeli government, ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, and the Diaspora community around the world are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.
“If My people who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7: 14)
Change that Yahweh calls “good” begins in the hearts of believers—people who are recognizable because they are different.
We are different because we belong to Him and are called by His Name. We are Yahweh’s people, His followers.
His Name is Yahweh, the website, is a companion of the book His Name is Yahweh.
To download His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition for free in PDF format, click on the title below:
- His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition in PDF format
His Name is Yahweh has been downloaded and shared in congregations all over the world. Please take advantage of this opportunity to read and share essential information about Yahweh.
You have my permission to copy and print His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition as many times as you want. Please, don’t sell it. Give it away.
To purchase His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition in paperback or in eBook, click here.
To see videos that explain the importance of Yahweh’s Name, click here.
Must Jewish People Convert to Christianity to be Saved? is a book that you will want to read.
In it, you will discover facts that most Christians are unfamiliar with. It will enlighten you about the true faith of believers dating back to the time of Abraham.
The Messiah didn’t try to create a new religion. Neither did the apostles nor His followers. For the most part, the religion that we know today as “Christianity” is either Catholic or an extension of Catholicism.
That’s a serious problem. Must Jewish People Convert to Christianity to be Saved? explains why.
The book is available in three formats: paperback, eBook, and PDF format. Click on the titles below to access the version you want:
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“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17: 22-24)
See “His Name is Yahweh”.