- The Western Wall itself is actually a huge retaining wall for the structures built on the Temple Mount. It has been a focal point for Jewish prayer since 70 C.E., when the Second Temple was destroyed by the Roman army. A wide plaza accommodates worshippers (men and women pray in different areas), as well as public events, such as the swearing in of new army recruits, and the presentation of Israeli schoolchildren with their first prayer books, bar mitzvah celebrations, and wedding photos. Visitors should dress modestly. A local custom is to write prayers and petitions on small slips of paper and press them into the cracks in the wall.
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