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Some photos of the Kotel (the western wall of the Temple) show large, black lettering, such as: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/wallpics.html

I have seen other drawings or photos of the Kotel with similar large, black lettering.

What did that lettering say and when was it abandoned or erased (and by whom)?

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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 relatively close to the time of the photograph." This implies that the writing did not need to be erased, but faded on its own. (Indeed, in one of those pictures, much lighter words can be seen written on the Kotel. However, it is possible that those words were written in a lighter color to start with.)

  • Nice photos. I cannot make out the words. What do they say? In general, what types of messages were written on the Kotel? When did this custom end? – Yehuda W May 11 '15 at 13:33

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