Sunday, 20 October, 2019

220-Pound Stone Drops From Western Wall, Narrowly Missing Worshipper

Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Dov Kalmanovich speaks during a demonstration on the eve of Tisha B'Av the Hebrew date for the destruction of both Jewish Temples in Jerusalem 220-Pound Stone Drops From Western Wall, Narrowly Missing Worshipper
Patty Aguilar | 24 July, 2018, 12:08

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat hailed the lack of injuries as "a great miracle", adding that he intends to ask the Prime Minister's Office to expand the periodic inspections of the site.

IAA Chairman Yisrael Hasson said the stone's fall could have been caused by humidity or by erosion caused by plants growing in the wall's crevices.

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich called it a most unusual event that had not happened in decades.

A stone that fell off the Western Wall in Jerusalem can be seen near the wall in Jerusalem's Old City, July 23, 2018. "A professional that looks at the hole that was made when the stone fell can see that the colour is grey and that means it was damp", he said.

Seventy-nine-year-old worshiper Daniella Goldberg told Reuters: "I didn't hear or feel anything until it landed right at my feet". I didn't understand where it fell from.

The Jerusalem municipality temporarily closed the section so it could assess the safety of the wall.

A boulder from the Western Wall falls onto a prayer platform
A boulder from the Western Wall falls onto a prayer platform

The last such incident occurred in 2004, when large pieces of Western Wall stone fell in the mainstream prayer plaza, slightly injuring a Yom Kippur worshipper, Times of Israel reported.

The Western Wall, in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, is the holiest place at which Jews are allowed to pray.

They believe it is what remains of a supporting wall of their biblical second temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Just one day earlier, the area was packed with worshippers for the Jewish holy day Tisha B'Av, which marks the destruction of temples that stood at the site.

Israel's Orthodox religious establishment restricts men and women from praying together in the main section of the wall.

To Muslims it is the Haram al-Sharif compound, the third-holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina, and home to the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

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