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Kotel Carvings question

Discussion in 'Judaism DIR' started by rosends, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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    I believe I have asked this before, but I just got back from my trip to Israel and have a couple more pictures that might be more easily deciphered. I will post them here on the hopes that someone can read/translate them for me. These are photos I took of the stones in the kotel -- up about a third of the way:

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    These shots include different angles of the same stone.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Second pic - last word on the top appears to be יעקב and the word on the bottom is הלוי. I only have speculations for the words there.
     
  3. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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    Thanks -- what bothers me is that I can't find anywhere that discusses these or anywhere to ask a rep of teh kotel.
     
  4. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    I've looked for info a few times as well. Don't think I ever found anything either.
     
  5. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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  6. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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  7. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Here's a good-quality picture from an essay by Yair Walach on Kotel inscriptions (הכותל המערבי, גבריאל ברקאי ואלי שילר (עורכים):

    upload_2021-12-3_12-34-51.png

    This is your second picture. As you can see, it reads יהודא דוב בן יוסף יעקב הלוי. Sadly his essay is not a comprehensive study of the inscriptions but a general look on the tradition and how it came to be banned.
     
  8. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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    That is a great picture (with letters that are modern looking as opposed to the more rudimentary carvings on other blocks). Does he have any discussion of who the carvers were (other than run of the mill wall builders signing their work)?
     
  9. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Actually, most of the writers were visitors to the Kotel. He wrote that it was customary to write on walls of special sites, such as Mearat Hamachpelah, Kever Rachel and the Kotel. In the 30's the custom was banned because it was considered to be disrespectful and a desecration of the sites, as well as having potential halachic problems.
     
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  10. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Here's a painting from the 19th century that depicts this being done:
    upload_2021-12-3_14-42-2.png
     
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  11. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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    Thanks -- the ones I photographed are a bit higher so I figured that the names were craved in during construction but that picture is fascinating.
     
  12. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Oh. From what I know, at times the floor by the Kotel was more raised. Sometimes it was because the Kotel was simply buried under dirt and/or garbage. And that's how the higher inscriptions were made.
     
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