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14

Taamei Haminhagim (p. 270, footnote) records a story told by the Minchas Elazar of Munkatch, in which the Ohr Hachaim (R. Chaim ibn Attar, 1696-1743) gave such a note to someone to put into the Wall. So it goes back at least that far.


11

No. From one parent who actually observed a bat mitzva by having her daughter tear for the first time: Mishnah Berurah, Orach Chaim 561:17. In fact, children might be forbidden to tear their clothes because of ba’al tashchit, the prohibition against wanton waste! See, for a related analysis, Minchat Chinuch 264:34* (Machon Yerushalayim edition, [...


8

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim סימן צד - צריך לכון נגד ארץ ישראל, ודין הרוכב או יושב בספינה If you're facing the wrong way, then turn your head towards the correct direction. ב אִם מִתְפַּלֵּל לְרוּחַ מִשְּׁאָר רוּחוֹת, יְצַדֵּד פָּנָיו לְצַד אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם הוּא בְּחוּץ לָאָרֶץ; וְלִירוּשָׁלַיִם, אִם הוּא בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְלַמִּקְדָּשׁ, אִם הוּא ...


7

The Shoel U'meishiv answers that this can be understood based on Rashi's and Tosfos' opinions in Sukkah(41a) where it says that the Third Beis Hamikdash will not be built by hand, rather it will decend from Heaven. There is a principal that the blessing does not come on to something that is empty . For example when Eliyahu Hanavi got oil for Ovdiah's wife ...


7

One should tear Kriyah: for a parent on the left side for another family member (for whom one sits shiva) on the right side for Har Ha'Bayit (ie. the Kotel) on the left side The tear should be made on one's upper most garment, it should be one tefach in length (around 3.5-4 inches or around 9cm). One must tear kriyah standing. When tearing kriyah for a ...


6

There is no stone on the exposed kotel which is opposite the kodesh hakadoshim. However if you go to the tunnel tours there is a spot marked which is. See this page for maps and pictures: http://www.generationword.com/jerusalem101/38-western-wall-tunnels.html


5

Note: 40 days of prayer at the wall is considered a "Segulah" and therefore relies more on tradition than the strict rationalist approach that the halachic process has. An Article written by Rabbi Levi Friend, author of the book "Segulos HaBaal Shem Tov" for the Torah Journal "Ohr Yisroel" (Monsey) investigated this and other 40 day "Segulos" and came up ...


5

According to Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (quoted here), there is no basis at all in Judaism for this practice ("אין בזה שום עניין"). He says every prayer at the Kotel is accepted.


5

When they light candles they have in mind not to be Mekabel Shabbos until the Zeman.


4

The Mishna on Megilla 28a rules that a destroyed synagogue retains holiness, and if grasses grew on it they should not be picked because they add to the feeling of despair. (The subsequent Gemara on 29b discusses picking the grasses and leaving them there, though the Rambam (Perush HaMishna 3:4) and the Mishna Berura (OC 151 sk 29) both understand this to be ...


4

Per Rabbi Yechiel Michel Tukachinsky - Ir Hakodesh V'Hamikdash 3:17:4 - if one sees the Kosel at a time when one does not do Kriyah as in your case, then one would not be required to do Kriyah if one sees it again within 30 days.


4

According to ד"ר יוסף נדבה there was a Mechitza up until 5689 (1928) when it was removed by the British authorities.


4

The answer is Yes (as it says in SHU"T Minchas Shlomo 1:76). (Shu"t Ginat Veradim 14:5:8) says that a women should tear the inner garment as if not, it would involve a breach of dignity.


4

Like others, I couldn't think of a single halachic reason to forbid weddings. I know I've seen dozens of Bar Mitzvahs over the years there, but never a wedding. (On Monday and Thursday around mid morning it seems like there's a bar mitzvah every 20 minutes). I did some digging and eventually found the rabinate's rules for the kotel, and it is true that they ...


3

According to the website IsraelDailyPicture, (which presents historical photos of Israel with explanations) those are memorial notices. Two such pictures can be seen here, and the text (names in the form X ben Y) is readable in at least one. Further, in this post from the same site, it says, "The darkness of the writing suggests that it was written ...


3

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 ...


3

I found in this sicho of Rav Yehudah Kreuzer וכך כתב רבי יעקב עמדין זצ"ל: דע והבן, אף על פי ששכינה בכל מקום, מכל מקום אין התפילה עולה בחוץ לארץ במסילה אחת דרך ישרה, כי צריך לשולחה לארץ ישראל,ולירושלים, אל מקום בית המקדש, כנגדו שם שער השמים. And so writes Rabbi Yaakov Emden: Know and understand that although the Divine Presence is everywhere, a ...


3

Yes it is true. At least according to this article (by Rabbi Shraga Simmons): Because of the great volume, every so often, all the notes are removed from the Wall and buried, along with other holy objects that are not being used anymore. Not sure about the second part of your question, though.


2

I have also heard that they get collected to make room for newer ones and then get buried, but I don't have any proof of that. As far as the elevated lever of sanctity, perhaps because they have been a "part" of the Kotel for so long, we treat them as we would anything else of the Kotel we have now.


2

They remove them from time to time,and they place them in genizah. http://matzav.com/photos-kosel-undergoes-cleaning-for-pesach-kvitlach-removed-2 http://www.vosizneias.com/80339/2011/04/06/jerusalem-in-photos-kotel-undergoes-spring-clean-for-pessach/


2

The first question in Halacha at the Kosel is whether, how, and when you have to do Kriyah at the Kosel. Kriyah at the Kosel for Women How to Tear Kriyah This link http://www.thekotel.org/content.asp?Id=138 discusses the following 4 topics in Halacha at the Kosel. Leaving the KotelCam open on Shabbos. Is there a problem with saying Nishmas on a daily ...


2

There is no source in the Talmud for the Western Wall being the place from where prayers "ascend". (Tractate Brachot 30a says we face toward the kodesh hakadashim when praying, traditionally and archeologically identified with the site of the Dome of the Rock.)


2

Firstly the Kotel wasn't part of the ruins of the Beit HaMikdash, according to popular opinion. It's a retainer wall holding up the Temple Mount platform. The Bet HaMikdash ruins morphed into archeology a long time ago. Secondly not every old wall is a ruin which the dictionary defines as a building or place in a state of decay, collapse, or disintegration....


2

As mentioned in the comments above the bracha of "Barukh Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melekh Haolam Sheasa et Hayam Hagadol" when seeing the ocean for the first time in 30 days is relevant. In addition highly relevant to your visit to the Old City (or the Mount of Olives) is the practice of kria (tearing your clothes) over the Temple Mount. See R Ari Enkin's very ...


2

I think the answer is written in an actual verse: Psalms 137, 5-6 אם-אשכחך ירושלים-- תשכח ימיני. תדבק-לשוני, לחיכי-- אם-לא אזכרכי: אם-לא אעלה, את-ירושלים-- על, ראש שמחתי 137:5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. 137:6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem ...


1

There is such an idea from the Shu"t Bais Ridvaz siman 38 where he holds that the western wall is part of the Azarah,like the shitta of the Radvaz. The Chachmas Adam Shaarei Tzedek Mishpatei Ha'aretz also held the same: שערי צדק שער משפטי הארץ חכמת אדם פרק יא סעיף יג ח) צריך לזהר מאוד שלא יכנס במקום המקדש שכולנו טמאים מתים, והנכנס בטומאה חייב כרת, ...


1

Several Midrashim address the "Western Wall" though it's not entirely clear what those midrashim are referring to. This includes the Bamidbar Rabba 11:2 as well as Shir Hashirim Rabba 2:9 (sometimes called Midrash Chazis), the early Tanhuma to Shemos 10, and Yalkut Shimoni to Kings I, ch. 8. The language in all of those midrashim is the כותל המערבי של בית ...


1

This may not be completely unfounded: Talmud Yerushalmi Masechet Brachot daf 35. There, it says that anyone praying inside Jerusalem should face Har HaBayit. Seeing as how being in front of the Kotel is below Har HaBayit, it could be interpreted to mean that one should face Har HaBayit itself, and not adjust so that you face the Kodesh HaKadashim. While ...


1

My Rebbe the Cheif Rabbi of the old city Rav Avigdor Nevenzahl Shlit"a told me that it is a bizayon to the kosel to daven towards the left. Another reason why one would not need to face left is because it is an inherent safek as to where the actual makom hamikdash is located. Although one could be somech on the Ridvaz who says that the makom hamikdash is "...


1

The second rosh yeshiva in my yeshiva, R' Dovid Stefansky, told me he had asked this question to his rosh yeshiva, Rav Shach, while pointing out that the correct direction would seem to be diagonally left. Rav Shach answered sarcastically: Go ahead and face that way, if it pleases you so much to be different from everyone else! Recognizing the Western Wall ...



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