Is the Western Wall falling down?


Between a rock and a holy place

EVER since the Roman army tried to topple it in the 1st century, knocking a few slabs from the top, the Western Wall in Jerusalem has remained largely intact. A relic of the second Jewish temple, most of which the Romans did destroy, the wall attracts thousands of Jewish worshippers each day. One called Daniella Goldberg was standing in front of it when a big slab of the wall came crashing down next to her on July 23rd.

Ms Goldberg was unharmed, but engineers were left wondering if worse is to come. Several explanations have been put forward as to why the slab broke off. Rainwater erosion and recent seismic activity may have loosened the wall’s stones. A study done in 2014 found that some parts of the wall were eroding much faster than others. Vegetation growing in the wall’s cracks could be exacerbating the problem. In 2004 pieces of the wall fell off, injuring a worshipper, in part because birds stuck metal objects into…

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