Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Western Wall

  • Lynn SomersteinEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_741

The Western Wall, in Hebrew, HaKotel HaMa’aravi, is the remaining wall of the Jewish Second Temple, the most sacred building in Judaism. It was built on the site of the first temple, also called Solomon’s Temple, which was erected in the tenth century BCE. The Gate of Heaven is said to be located directly above HaKotel. Because it is so near to heaven, people inscribe prayers and wishes on pieces of paper and place them in the cracks in the walls in the hopes that their requests will be granted.

The Dome of The Rock, built in 691 CE, is directly above HaKotel. It contains the rock which is considered the foundation from which God created the universe and, later, where Abraham prepared to slay Isaac. Jacob is said to have slept on this rock and dreamt of a ladder leading to heaven, with angels going up and down on it. In Islamic belief this is the rock from which Muhammad ascended to heaven.

HaKotelis also sometimes referred to as “the Wailing Wall,” a derogatory term that refers to...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Skolnik, F. (Ed.). (2006). Encyclopedia Judaica. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Expressive AnalysisNew YorkUSA