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Hasidic Jews At Western Wall — Fotopedia
Israel, Jerusalem, Jewish men at Western Wall one reading Torah.
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Western Wall

The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel (Hebrew:  הַכֹּתֶל הַמַּעֲרָבִי , translit.: HaKotel HaMa'aravi; Ashkenazic pronunciation: Kosel, Koisel, Keisel or Kausel; Arabic: حائط البراق‎, translit.: Ḥā'iṭ Al-Burāq, translat.: The Buraq Wall) is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. It is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple's courtyard, and is arguably the most sacred site recognized by the Jewish faith outside of the Temple Mount itself. Just over half the wall, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, commonly believed to have been constructed around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, but recent excavations indicate that the works were not finished during Herod's lifetime. The remaining layers were added from the 7th century onwards. The Western Wall refers not only to the exposed section facing a large plaza in the Jewish Quarter, but also to the sections concealed behind structures running along the whole length of the Temple Mount, such as the Little Western Wall – a 25 ft (8 m) section in the Muslim Quarter.


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Hasidic Judaism

Hasidic Judaism from the Hebrew: חסידות‎ (Sephardic pronunciation: IPA: [ħasiˈdut]; Ashkenazic pronunciation: IPA: [χaˈsidus]), meaning "piety" (or "loving-kindness"), is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality through the popularization and internalization of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspect of the faith. It was founded in 18th-century Eastern Europe by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov as a reaction against overly legalistic Judaism. His example began the characteristic veneration of leadership in Hasidism as embodiments and intercessors of Divinity for the followers.[citation needed] Contrary to this, Hasidic teachings cherished the sincerity and concealed holiness of the unlettered common folk, and their equality with the scholarly elite. The emphasis on the Immanent Divine presence in everything gave new value to prayer and deeds of kindness, alongside rabbinical supremacy of study, and replaced historical mystical (kabbalistic) and ethical (musar) asceticism and admonishment with Simcha, encouragement, and daily fervor. This populist emotional revival accompanied the elite ideal of nullification to paradoxical Divine Panentheism, through intellectual articulation of inner dimensions of mystical thought.


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Old City (Jerusalem)

The Old City (Hebrew: העיר העתיקה‎, Ha'Ir Ha'Atiqah, Arabic: البلدة القديمة‎, al-Balda al-Qadimah, Armenian: Հին Քաղաք, Hin K'aghak' ) is a 0.9 square kilometers (0.35 sq mi) walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem. Until 1860, when the Jewish neighborhood Mishkenot Sha'ananim was established, this area constituted the entire city of Jerusalem. The Old City is home to several sites of key religious importance: the Temple Mount and Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1981.

Traditionally, the Old City has been divided into four uneven quarters, although the current designations were introduced only in the 19th century. Today, the Old City is roughly divided into the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Old City was captured by Jordan and Jewish residents were evicted. During the Six-Day War in 1967, which saw hand-to-hand fighting on the Temple Mount, Israel captured the Old City along with the rest of East Jerusalem, subsequently annexing them as Israeli territory and reuniting them with the western part of the city. Today, Israel controls the entire area, which it considers part of its national capital. In 2010, Jerusalem's oldest fragment of writing was found outside the Old City's walls. The Jerusalem Law of 1980, effectively annexing East Jerusalem to Israel, was declared null and void by UN Security Council Resolution 478 and East Jerusalem is regarded by the international community as part of occupied Palestinian territory.