MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.7

MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.7
from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

QUOTE #1: [1]

QUOTE #2: The Western Wall … is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the “Western Wall”. The wall was originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, in a large rectangular structure topped by a huge flat platform, thus creating more space for the Temple itself and its auxiliary buildings.

The Western Wall is considered holy due to its connection to the Temple Mount. Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though it is not the holiest site in the Jewish faith, which lies behind it. The original, natural and irregular-shaped Temple Mount was gradually extended to allow for an ever-larger Temple compound to be built at its top. This process was finalised by Herod, who enclosed the Mount with an almost rectangular set of retaining walls, built to support extensive substructures and earth fills needed to give the natural hill a geometrically regular shape. On top of this box-like structure Herod built a vast paved esplanade which surrounded the Temple. Of the four retaining walls, the western one is considered to be closest to the former Temple, which makes it the most sacred site recognised by Judaism outside the former Temple Mount esplanade. Just over half the wall’s total height, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, and is commonly believed to have been built around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, although recent excavations indicate that the work was not finished by the time Herod died in 4 BCE. The very large stone blocks of the lower courses are Herodian, the courses of medium-sized stones above them were added during the Umayyad era, while the small stones of the uppermost courses are of more recent date, especially from the Ottoman period. [2]

QUOTE #3: The term Western Wall and its variations are mostly used in a narrow sense for the section traditionally used by Jews for prayer, and it has also been called the “Wailing Wall”, referring to the practice of Jews weeping at the site over the destruction of the Temples…. The term “Wailing Wall” is not used by Jews, and increasingly not by many others who consider it derogatory. [3]

QUOTE #4: Visitors to Jerusalem often place written prayers in the cracks of the Western Wall. But what happens when those crevices get too full? Ten million people visited the Western Wall (called the Kotel in Hebrew) last year. Many of them tucked prayer requests between the ancient stones. “This Wall is very famous for Jewish people to come and pray and to put requests even in writing to God, and this is a tradition for thousands and thousands of years,” Avi Hochman, president of the Israel Postal Service, told CBN News.

It is the retaining wall of the plaza of the Second Temple from 2,000 years ago. When King Solomon dedicated the First Jewish Temple, God said His eyes and heart would always be there. “That’s why traditionally Jews, and those of other faiths, put their prayers in the Wall. If they can’t make the trip to Israel, they send their requests via post, email, or text.

So, what happens when those cracks get too full? Twice a year, the prayer slips are removed from the cracks between the old stones. Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch said no one reads the papers because they’re notes between man and his Creator. Workers collect the notes, bundle them in bags and later bury them in the cemetery on the Mount of Olives. According to Jewish religious practice, it’s forbidden to destroy anything on which the name of God is written. That means these little prayer slips are treated with the same respect as worn or damaged Torah scrolls and prayer books. [4]

THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?

SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?

What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?

How can we make it happen? What are the steps?

RESOURCES
The photo “Soldiers at the Wailing Wall” is by Mor
and is from https://www.flickr.com/photos/mmoorr/68203306/ courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons license.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #4 from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

[2] Western Wall, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall

[3] Western Wall, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall

[4] What Happens to Prayers at the Western Wall? by Julie Stahl, June 08, 2012 at http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2012/May/What-Happens-to-Prayers-at-the-Western-Wall/?mobile=false

 

 

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