Saturday, March 12, 2011

Black bird + white bird discuss Mughrabi bridge

You might have to enlarge the first shot to see that a white bird is looking at the black bird.

The birds are sitting on a ledge of an empty old 2nd-storey room over the women's prayer room at the Western Wall.

Here is the Western Wall (once called the Wailing Wall).
Behind and above it, the Temple Mount which is under the administration of the Wakf (Muslim Trust).
The place the birds were sitting is under the top part of the big ramp.
It leads up to the Mughrabi Gate, the only entrance onto the Temple Mount for non-Muslims (as explained in a previous post).
After years of legal battles the Jerusalem Municipality has now given final approval to plans for a replacement bridge.
(It turns out that the old ramp never did have approval. )
See the whole strange story here, in the March 8 Jerusalem Post.
I'm relieved and happy to read that

"The new bridge is a scaled-down version of the original project, which proposed a massive 95-meter bridge leading from an archeological garden. The original plan prompted an outcry from archeologists worried that such a large structure would not only damage archeological findings, but also detract from the aesthetic nature of the site."
The new bridge is meant to replace the temporary wooden bridge that has been in use since a 2003 earthquake and winter storm caused part of the original bridge to collapse, leading city engineers to deem it unsafe.
The authorities have not coordinated this with the Wakf, so I imagine the new ramp will not be finished--or even started--any time soon.
The sweet birds are for Camera-Critters and the "bridge" is for Sunday Bridges.


Leif Hagen said...

Your photo of the Western Wall is extraordinary!

TheChieftess said...

You live in an extraordinary city Dina! Why is it no longer called the Wailing Wall?

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the birds, Dina. They both appear to be pigeons, so maybe another color barrier is about to come down! LOL
The overview of the Wall is wonderful. Your photos are an unceasing revelation to me.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Kay said...

Seeing the white bird and the black bird calming discussing things are a beautiful symbol of two different perspectives coming together peacefully. I wish it for the world.

Dina said...

Kay and Kay, yeah, I like that symbolism too.

Leif, I hope someday you can see it all in person.
This was my first time to photograph from the roof of Aish Hatorah. It was worth the 10 shekels to go up.

Chieftess, yep, it is an extraordinary city.
Actually, we DO still sometimes hear the Kotel called the Wailing Wall, but only by Christian tourists.
Jews says The Wall (short for The Western Wall) because since the Six Day War of 1967 and the unification of Jerusalem, we have had free access to the Wall and it had become a place of celebration and prayer instead of a place of wailing. (For many previous years Jews could not go there, or there were humiliating restrictions by the ruling powers.)

A good page to read about the two names is here:

Wikipedia says
"The earliest clear Jewish use of the term Western Wall as referring to the wall visible today was by the 11th-century Ahimaaz ben Paltiel.
The name “Wailing Wall”, and descriptions such as "wailing place" appeared regularly in English literature during the 19th century. The name Mur des Lamentations was used in French and Klagemauer in German. This term itself was a translation of the Arabic el-Mabka, or "Place of Weeping," the traditional Arabic term for the wall.[6] This description stemmed from the Jewish practice of coming to the site to mourn and bemoan the destruction of the Temple.
During the 1920s with the growing Arab-Jewish tensions over rights at the wall, the Arabs began referring to the wall as al-Buraq. This was based on the tradition that the wall was the place where Muhammad tethered his miraculous winged steed, Buraq."

Anonymous said...

What a great, great entry of yours !

Please have a good Sunday.

daily athens

Petrea said...

I'm always charmed by your camera critters--especially your birds.

TheChieftess said...

Very interesting...again...such a fascinating history in your beautiful city! Thank you!!!

JM said...

Awesome view on the bottom shot.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely photos, and thanks for the information about the area too

VP said...

They look like pigeons, which are not birds but rats with wings...

Luna Miranda said...

very interesting. Jerusalem is in m bucket list.

BJ Roan said...

Wonderful post! Love the birds. The shot of the wall is my favorite.

Winchester Daily Photos said...

Fascinating photo

crederae said...

Beautiful Dina, I love this shot of the wailing wall and the mosque shining like a golden spiritual sun in the distance and so many deep historical considerations in Jerusalem.

The two birds were a poignant beautiful focal point.

love and light

cieldequimper said...

I've never heard it called anything but le mur des lamentations and I'm not even a tourist (well, not yet). The two birds are a fantastic symbol.