Second Temple Analysis

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The Western Wall, the Kotel, is the most significant site in the world for the Jewish people. It is situated in Israel in the Holy City of Jerusalem. The Western Wall is a living testimony to the strength and resilience of the Jewish nation. Jerusalem was destroyed and rebuilt nine times and through it all, the Western Wall remained intact. Therefore it can be said that the Western Wall is an eternal symbol, as it is endowed with everlasting sanctity.

Place can be classified as a space of histories and identities. The Western Wall is a perfect example of this kind of place. It is a place with many historical aspects and stories of the past.

The Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 CE. Despite the destruction that took place, all four
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The stones that make up the Kotel wall are holy and by placing notes in between the cracks of the wall, they say that your prayers will be answered.

Tim Creswell (2004) provides a basic explanation of place, as spaces that people have made meaningful, and to which they are attached in some way. The Western Wall is a place full of meaning and significance. This relates to Cresswell’s ultimate definition of place being ‘a meaningful location’.

John Agnew elaborated on the concept of place and defined it in three ways. The first explanation being that place is a ‘location’, which refers to a fixed co-ordinate on the earth’s surface, the second is place as a ‘locale’ which refers to a place as a material setting for social relations, and lastly a ‘sense of place’ refers to the emotional and subjective attachment that people have to
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For centuries, there have always been political problems surrounding the Western Wall. Different religions and identities have fought over the western wall as a place that belongs to them, and them only. After many years, it became the holy place for the Jewish people, however it is visited and cherished by many Non-Jews around the world.

Humanistic geographers believe that place gives meaning to life. The concept of place puts emphasis on subjectivity and meaning and can be described as a universal and transhistorical part of the human condition (Cresswell, 2004). The Western Wall is a place that fills many peoples’ lives with meanings all around the world. Humans are able to connect to a place and build a relationship. Yi-Fu Tuan’s term, ‘topophilia’ refers to that bond between humans and place.

He then develops a sense of space as an open arena of action and movement, while place is about stopping and resting and becoming involved. This includes the meaning behind value, belonging, discussion and attachment. This links to the idea that the Western Wall is a place that I truly value, a place where I feel accepted and a place that I am connected

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