Is there any particular reason for kissing the Western Wall and are there any traditional sources that mention kissing the wall?

I ask because someone I know said that the reason for kissing the wall is because the Shechinah rests in the wall. However, I thought the Shechinah rests in the Holy of Holies (though I could be mistaken).


1 Answer 1


Rav Acha said: The Shechinah has never departed from the Western Wall. [Shemot Rabbah 2:2]

The Shechinah rests upon the Western Wall. [Zohar, Mishpatim 116]

Why would kissing it not be allowed?

  • 1
    He asked about the western retaining wall of the Herodian expansion of the Temple mount, not the western wall of the Temple.
    – Double AA
    Apr 25, 2021 at 16:38
  • @DoubleAA that is what is referred to as the Western Wall since that is what was left after the second temple was destroyed. Apr 25, 2021 at 16:41
  • 1
    @sabba The western wall of the Temple was indeed not destroyed as it says explicitly in all these Midrashim and the other three walls were indeed destroyed. All 4 of the retaining walls were not destroyed obviously otherwise the mountain-complex would collapse. This is all explicit in the midrash
    – Double AA
    Apr 25, 2021 at 16:42
  • 4
    What is the significance of the Shechina vis-a-vis kissing. Do you kiss the members of your minyan because ומנין לעשרה שמתפללין שהשכינה עמהם?
    – Alex
    Apr 25, 2021 at 16:46
  • @Alex -- You could. It's a matter of custom. You are not obligated. Apr 26, 2021 at 13:49

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