A-Z Challenge: W is for Western, Wailing, Wall, Windmill

Two places today. I couldn’t leave either of them out.

The Western Wall (or Wailing Wall) is the holiest site in Judaism. It is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Second Temple, and is known to have been a site for prayer and pilgrimage since the 4th century.

Western Wall
Montefiore's Windmill

The windmill in the Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighbourhood was built in 1857 by the British Jewish philanthropist, Sir Moses Montefiore. Unfortunately, Sir Moses and friends failed to take local conditions into account. The mill was hardly used, mainly because there was not enough wind on most days. Now (or at least until recently) it houses displays showing the achievements of Sir Moses Montefiore.

The windmill is currently undergoing renovation. Apparently they’re turning it back into a working mill.

Fortunately, we have an older photo.

Montefiore's Windmill

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

12 replies on “A-Z Challenge: W is for Western, Wailing, Wall, Windmill”

The Western Wall and what happens there has always been source of wonder to me. (As a non-believer I’ve struggled to understand what is practised there.) The closest thing I have seen to it here – is the Holy Wells. People gather to pray and leave written prayers and mementos pinned to trees near by. They do something like wailing too. A kind of intense prayer.
The need for such things seems to be a universal human practise that transcends particular creeds and faiths. The wall is one of the best known such places but perhaps also one of the least understood.
Yet another fascinating aspect of your mysterious and intriguing hometown. Thank you for sharing it with us Miriam.

I’ve seen people mention making a pilgrimage to the wall. I personally do not fully understand what it done once there, but I can understand, a little bit at least, the why behind the need to go there.

Every time I’ve been to the Kotel, I’ve broken down crying as I’m praying to Hashem and touching those ancient stones. It’s the one place in the world where I feel most intimately connected to the Divine, and standing in the presence of so much history.

The first time I visited the Western Wall I was disappointed. It was just a wall but I decided to go back a few days later and say a prayer for my Mum who had recently died. It was the most overwhelming experience. I marched down to the front of the Ladies’ section, said a prayer to Mum in my head and then felt such overwhelming emotions that I had to sit down until I’d stopped crying. I can’t explain it but there is something very special about the Western Wall.

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