Love of the Land

For the week ending 4 December 2004 / 21 Kislev 5765

How the Wall Was Uncovered

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

"I am of Roman descent and am merely following the ancient practice of my forefathers to dump garbage at this site which is where the Temple of the Jewish people once stood. Unable to completely destroy this wall along with the rest of the Temple, they decreed that garbage be dumped here to cover it over."

This is how the elderly gentile woman explained to the visiting Turkish Sultan why she was adding her rubbish to a large mound near the residence of the local kadi where the Sultan was staying.

Determined to uncover the wall, the Sultan, who then ruled the region, sent out a proclamation for people in the city and environs to come to his residence where they would be amply rewarded. When a crowd gathered he scattered some coins on the garbage heap and invited the people to gather up the garbage and keep the coins they found. After a month of such searching, the hidden wall was revealed. The Sultan ordered the arrest of anyone who would continue the Roman custom of dumping garbage and the sacred wall remained uncovered until today.

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