Study and Theory/
Tisha B'Av

Zeev Vilnai

The Wall of Paupers

When King Solomon wanted to build the Temple, an angel from heaven appeared to him and said to him:

The Temple that you are about to build will belong to all of Israel.

Solomon gathered the noblemen and the ministers, the priests and the Levites, and he also called to the poor – he wished to divide up the holy work – and the Western Wall fell to the share of the poor.

The work started on the House of the Lord. The ministers and the noblemen and the capitalists purchased cedars and cypresses and hired workers to expedite the end of the work.

Only the work of the poor was delayed because they could not afford help; men, women and children laboured and worked hard, quarried stones, and the stone of Solomon was transported from a large cave – the Cave of Zidkiyahu, until they finished their work and constructed the Western Wall.

And when the enemy by his many sins destroyed the Temple, the fire consumed its walls, and only the stones of the Western Wall were saved from the flames, and the divine presence has not moved from there to this very day.

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