Love of the Land

For the week ending 28 December 2002 / 23 Tevet 5763

Sultan Salim Uncovering the Western Wall

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

A fascinating story is told of how the Kotel (Western Wall) was rescued from obscurity almost five centuries ago. Soon after the Turkish Sultan Salim had conquered Yerushalayim he looked out from the window of his residence near the area where the Beit Hamikdash once stood and observed a woman dumping garbage. She explained that this was the custom of the Christian community every since the Romans destroyed the Holy Temple of the Jews but were unable to destroy the West Wall of the Temple Mount. By dumping garbage at this site for centuries they hoped to eliminate any memory of the sacred wall.

The Sultan dumped a fortune of coins on the rubbish pile and invited all the residents of the city to dig for them. For thirty days the money-hungry people dug for these coins until the Wall was revealed.

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