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Western Wall Disturbances

WESTERN WALL DISTURBANCES

A September 1928 dispute over Jewish religious rights at the Western Wall that led to political violence in August 1929.

The Western, or Wailing, Wall has been holy to Muslims because it is the western part of the Temple Mount and Haram al-Sharif where, Muslims believe, the prophet Muhammad tethered his "fabulous steed," al-Buraq, while on a nocturnal journey to heaven. The wall is also the holiest shrine of Judaism because it is the remnant of the western exterior of the Temple of Herod, built on the site of Solomon's temple. Jews placed a screen at the wall to separate men and women on 23 September 1928, the eve of the Day of Atonement. The Palestinians protested that the screen violated the status quo ante; the British authorities agreed and forcibly removed it. The incident was politicized by both communities over the next few months, a response that led to tensions and events such as a Revisionist Zionist demonstration on 15 August 1929 and a Palestinian counterdemonstration the following day.

Violence began in Jerusalem on 23 August when Palestinians attacked Jews in Meah Sheʿarim. The rioters attacked the largely non-Zionist religious communities of Hebron and Safed, killing sixty-four and twenty-six people, respectively. Jewish rioters in turn killed Palestinians in a number of cities, but most were shotsome of them indiscriminatelyby British troops and police suppressing the disturbances. The violence took the lives of 133 Jews and at least 116 Palestinians.

The Shaw Commission, which investigated the disturbances, determined that the immediate cause of the riots was the Jewish and Arab demonstrations of 15 and 16 August and that the ultimate cause was Palestinian fear that Jewish immigration and land purchase would lead to Jewish domination.

see also haram al-sharif; shaw commission; western wall.

Bibliography

Mattar, Philip. "The Role of the Mufti of Jerusalem in the Political Struggle over the Western Wall, 19281929." Middle Eastern Studies 19, no. 1 (January 1983): 104118.

Palestine Government. A Survey of Palestine for the Information of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry. 2 vols. Jerusalem, 1946. Reprint, Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1991.

philip mattar

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Western Wall

WESTERN WALL

The extant part of the retaining wall surrounding the Temple of Solomon; a Jerusalem landmark and a holy prayer site for Jews.

The Hebrew Ha-Kotel Ha-Maʿaravi refers to the western retaining wall surrounding Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Sometimes called the "Wailing Wall," since Jews pray and cry near it, it is built of large limestones hewn for the Second Temple, which was enlarged during the reign of Herod (374 b.c.e.), king of Judea. It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 c.e.

Since then, the remaining wall has stood as a reminder and symbol of lost glory and the redemption to come; Jews turn toward it when they pray. By tradition, notes to heaven are placed in its cracks. During the British mandate, Jews had limited access in bringing religious appurtenances, which had to adhere to certain rules (e.g., using a curtain to separate men and women) or else were banned. During Jordanian rule, Jews' access to the wall was denied. After the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, the area was excavated and became again a place of public prayer and assembly. The surrounding plaza is also the site of many national assemblies and civil religious events.


Bibliography

Heilman, Samuel. A Walker in Jerusalem. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1995.

Meir, Ben Dov; Naor, Mordechai; and Aner, Zeev. The Western Wall, translated by Raphael Posner. Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defence, 1983.

samuel c. heilman

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Western Wall

Western Wall (Wailing Wall) Place in Jerusalem sacred to all Jews. It is a remnant of a wall of the great Temple destroyed by the Romans in ad 70. It is the focus of many pilgrimages.

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Western Wall:

Western Wall: see WAILING WALL.

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"Western Wall:." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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