DATA RE THE WESTERN WALL IN JERUSALEM
~ PAGE 3 ~
This is data page 3 on the general subject of the Western or Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, known, I understand, as "Kotel" to those of the Jewish faith. You can see the other pages here: Pages 1, 2, 4 and 5.
But like all of my pages, this page will expand as I introduce additional data that interests me & may well interest you also. But a reminder as always. This page and the site to which the above link takes you, are designed for a 1024 x 768 screen setting.
I next provide another composite image, that mixes, I appreciate, different dates & periods. The large image is from a William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854) print entitled "Jews' Place of Wailing. Jerusalem". It was published by E. Challis & dates, I understand, from 1842. It depicts the Western Wall at that time. In an authoritative book, I have seen the print called a "stipple engraving", whatever that, in fact, means. To the left is an image, available today as a poster, showing Jewish paratroopers when control of the Wall was attained by the State of Israel in 1967. The complete poster can often be purchased on e-Bay. My effort combined the better quality image I found elsewhere with the poster image I saw on e-Bay some years ago. And last but not least, the headline of the Palestine Post when the State of Israel was born on May 14, 1948.
Now you may consider what I am about to say to be petty. I 'manipulate' images to a minor degree for these pages, but that "manipulation" is limited to resizing, cropping, sharpening, or other minor changes in the interests of clarity & beauty. And I say what I have done. It really concerns me that when one sees an image today, in a newspaper or magazine, one assumes that it is a true image & not the result of someone's over zealous photo-manipulation/imagination. What brings this to mind is another image that I found on an Israeli site re Jerusalem.
It shows Yasser Arafat at the Western Wall. I have put the images close together so you can see them both easily. But look at the soldiers! My eye was struck by their distinctive faces & it is clear to me that the lower image has been doctored by cloning in Yasser Arafat so it looks as though he was there that very day. Yasser Arafat would NOT have been with the Israeli troops as they fought to first reach the Western Wall in 1967. The detail in the rest of the two images is identical. And when I see other images, perhaps of current events around the world, my mind wonders about their authenticity. Enough said.
And now two more fine paintings (or most of them, at least) of the Wailing Wall by Gustav Bauernfiend (1848-1904). Both seem to be entitled, "Lament of the Faithful at the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem". The left image is an oil on canvas of 51" x 39 1/2". I wish the image quality was a little better. I have no detail data about the right image, alas. The artist lived in Jerusalem for the last six years of his life, so I presume that both paintings must date from that period.
I find it interesting that as the above paintings confirm, men & women were not then segregated when praying at the Western Wall. Indeed, I recall reading a reference to the fact that segregation at the Wall was introduced relatively recently as, I presume, orthodoxy rules require.
Next (below) yet another composite image that I hope you will enjoy. The engraving at left (below) is just a part of a much larger engraving, the work of Rev. Samuel Manning (1822-1881), whose 223 page work 'Those Holy Fields - Palestine, Extensively Illustrated By Pen and Pencil', was published in 1874 by the Religious Tract Society. Later editions of the book are readily available & I even saw a first edition listed for sale. The author was a prolific traveller it would seem & similar volumes covered such varied places as Egypt, Switzerland, Italy, & the U.S. Now I could not find an image of the cover of Manning's work re Palestine. But I did find an illustration of his Italian book & show it here for your interest. Beside the Manning print, below, is a delightful cartoon, quite perfect for these particular pages. It is the work of Israeli artist Shemuel (Shmulik) Katz (1926- ), whose life would appear to have been most eventful & whose career has been long & distinguished.
The illustration is from 'Jerusalem ~ Holy Business As Usual', a delightful volume of cartoons with text by Yehuda Haezrahi, first published, I believe, in 1969. It is difficult to single out one cartoon from Shemuel Katz's collection, but I think my favourite would be the cartoon of Josephus Flavius, historian of the Jewish wars, dressed in his Roman robes, showing tourists the model of the Second Temple. A close second would be the man on the ladder watering those green bushy plants which cling so tenaciously to the face of the Western Wall. (Does anyone know what sort of plants they are. If so, I would like to know. - Contact me here). Since writing those words, I have seen, in the 1972 edition of a book entitled 'Western Wall', a statement that in fact there are seven different types of plant that grow in the crannies of the wall (with no more specific plant data indicated however) & that swallows nest in the wall also. I hope that Shemuel & his publisher would permit the showing of one cartoon here, but I will gladly remove it if it causes any concern.
And finally on this page another composite image (below). On the left, from e-Bay I believe, is a commemorative postage stamp of Yitzhak Rabin, (1922-1995), the courageous Israeli prime minister who was assassinated on Nov. 4, 1995. The Middle East might very well, today, be place of peace instead of terror, had he survived. A small image of Theodor (Binyamin Ze’ev) Herzl (1860-1904), who witnessed anti semitism in Europe & believed that a Jewish state was the only long term solution. His 1896 work "Der Judenstaat" (the Jewish State) (left) argued his case & while he died long before the State of Israel came into existence, he surely is the father of modern Israel. And lastly, another image of the giant stone in the base of the Western Wall. I like this image because the visitor, just visible at bottom right in the image, gives a sense of scale. I thank the Atlantic Baptist University in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, for that fine image. I saw another good picture of the stone towards the bottom of this page but am not permitted to show it here. The text beside it gives dimensions for the stone & states it is 570 tons in weight.