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I believe the Halacha is that you're supposed to tear your clothes when seeing the Wailing Wall, just as one does when 'sitting Shiva'. Why don't most people?

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some say that if you go on a Friday (or within 30 days of your last visit) you don't tear [I don't have sources handy]. And I read that some proud Israelis say that Jewish control of the area means we no longer tear. – Danno Jun 9 '14 at 20:39
up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are quite a few ways in which people avoid tearing, though I guess most don't do it simply because they are unaware of the Halacha.

The Kotel is not the best place to tear - one should try and see the makom hamikdash (Temple Mount).

See http://doseofhalacha.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/tearing-keriah-at-kosel.html

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 561:2) writes that when seeing ‘Yerushalayim in its destructive state’, one should say ‘Zion has become a desolate desert’ and tear keriah. Upon seeing the ruins of the Beis Hamikdash one should tear keriah (again) and say ‘Our house of holiness and glory in which our ancestors sang praise to You, and all that we hold precious has been destroyed.’

The Mishna Berura (and others) writes that Yerushalayim is only considered to be ‘in a destructive state’ when it’s under foreign rule. Thus, R’ Moshe Feinstein writes (Igros Moshe OC 4:70) that as Yerushalayim is under Jewish rule today, one need not tear keriah when seeing Yerushalayim. One does, however, upon seeing the Temple ruins.

While R’ Moshe Sternbuch writes (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:331) that one tears upon seeing the Dome of the Rock, others (Baer Heitev 561:5) write that it is ideal to view the Har Habayis itself. Ideally one should try to find a higher vantage point to accommodate all views.

As one doesn’t need to tear keriah if he has been within 30 days, some sell their shirt to a friend while others go to the Kotel on Shabbos or Friday afternoon (the ‘first time’) to avoid doing so. R’ Moshe Feinstein writes (Igros Moshe YD 3:52) that one still tears on Friday afternoon, however.

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Unfortunately, the vast majority of Jews who visit the Wall are not (as yet) religious.[1] Most of them don't know the rule that one should tear his clothes and, if they did, most would most likely not abide by it, so as not to ruin their clothes for the sake of a rule they don't consider obligatory.

(Among religious Jews who visit, many also don't know the rule; others have visited recently enough that there is no obligation to tear clothes. See also Zvi's answer.)

[1] Citation needed, but I think it's pretty obvious from looking around.

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