Is there a reason that praying at the Western Wall should have any more significance (from a Halachic perspective or Hashkafa perspective) than davening in a shul anywhere else - whether it be in Yerushalayim (whatever that may include ) or in Eretz Yisroel or even in Chutz La'aretz?

  • I'm not sure what you mean by "significance". Do you mean efficacy as prayer or a more personal oomph? The Shechina never left the kotel so davening in the God's presence is good but that is not a quantifiable reason - Hashem is here, Hashem is there... yeshiva.co/ask/?id=761
    – rosends
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 15:56
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    I'm not sure whether that ma'amar is referring to the Kosel that we go to. Furthermore, what would that mean anyway regarding tefilla? What if I daven in the Plaza before the wall? What if I daven on the steps going up to the Old City? What if I daven outside the City but I can see the Kosel? Sounds pretty strange to me. I'm not referring to "personal oomph" which has no shaychis to the Kosel. Someone can get ooomphs in many different ways and many different places.
    – Mark A.
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 19:00
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    מכאן אתה למד שכל המתפלל במקום הזה בירושלם כאלו התפלל לפני כסא הכבוד ששער השמים שם הוא ופתח פתוח לשמוע תפלה שנ' וזה שער השמים. - sounds like "significance" (for tefilla in particular) over at least the rest of Israel, and over chu"l. ("This place" refers to הר המוריה, see earlier in that section.) Not precisely the Kotel, but close, especially if you don't permit ascending to the Temple Mount.
    – Rish
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 23:19
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    @Rish But is there any advantage to "close"? Either you're in the "Har HaBayit" zone or the "Yerushalayim" zone.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 1:16
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    @NoachMiFrankfurt Not quite. You'd want to move quite a bit north along the retaining wall to be as close as you can. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Western_Wall
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Laolam lo zaza shechina mekotel hamaaravi! The Divine presence never left the Western wall! (See Midrash Tanhuma Exodus 10, Song of Songs 2:22, Exodus Raba 2:2, Zohar II:5b)

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    That wall isn't the Kotel, though. It's the western wall of the Temple. In any event, this is just your assertion currently. Please edit in a source to back up this claim about the Divine presence's movements.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 23:47
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    Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl deduces that the midrashim indeed refer to the "kotel" wall of har habayit and not that of the Temple itself based on Rabbi Eleazar HaKalir's kinna _ Zechor Asher Ussu Tzar (16) which reads in translation "... upon the entrance of Temple Mount he began to come, with the hand of commanders to destroy it. On the western side for a remembrance he left in it, and He stood behind our wall and did not fight its fight. Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 18:49
  • If the other three walls were knocked down and the western wall was left up as a remembrance, it's clearly not talking about the walls of Har Habayit since all four are still standing. This is obvious. The Kalir is referencing in that Kinah a Midrash (Eikha Rabba 1:31) that tells the story in full how three generals destroyed the three walls and the fourth general failed to destroy the western wall.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 18:54
  • According to Chabad there are almost no ancient remains of the northern wall and only a bit of the eastern wall. i.e. they are in ruins. Regarding the southern wall, it is the sharei chulda referred to in the midrash as also standing. Why did the Midrash Eicha omit them? I have no idea. Another explanation is that the southern wall does not border the sacred Temple Mount area, and therefore doesn't count Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 19:47
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    Huh??? If those walls weren't there, the dirt inside would flow out. That's what a retaining wall does. It retains the dirt. Clearly all four walls are fully standing! You can even go walk around and see them all. There's no need for us to argue about a Metziut that anyone can go see.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 20:01

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