We all know that the Western Wall, the Kotel, is the most significant site in the world for the Jewish people. We know that it is the last remnant of the Temple. We also know that Jews from around the world gather here to pray. People write notes to God and place them between the ancient stones of the Wall.
But did you know that many important events took place on Mount Moriah, later known as the Temple Mount?
Mount Moriah, according to Jewish tradition, is the place where many pivotal events in Jewish history took place. Traditionally, creation of the world began from the Foundation Stone at the peak of the mountain. This is also where Adam, the first human, was created.
When Abraham was commanded to prepare his son Isaac for sacrifice, the father and son went up to “the place that G-d chooses” – Mount Moriah, and to its peak – the Foundation Stone – where the binding of Isaac took place.
Jacob’s dream (of angels ascending and descending a ladder) is linked to this mountain.
Later on, the Holy of Holies – the core and heart of the First and Second Temples - was built around the Foundation Stone.
In the year 37 BCE, Herod was appointed king in Jerusalem. He soon initiated a huge renovation project for the Temple. He hired many workers who toiled to make the Temple more magnificent and to widen the area of the Temple Mount by flattening the mountain peak and building four support walls around it. The Western Wall we know of, is one of these four support walls.