Deep Below The Kosel, Jewish History Comes To Life




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    Deep Below The Kosel, Jewish History Comes To Life

    Photos by Dov Ber Hechtman for ChabadInfo

    The Kosel Tunnels recently announced the completion of two exciting new projects, which had been completed during the two years that the Tunnels had been closed due to the covid-19 pandemic • Full Story, Photos

    The Renovated Chain of Generations

    The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is launching a new exhibit – The Chain of Generations Center – after about two years of work while the Tunnels were often closed due to the pandemic.

    The Chain of Generations Center project entailed work on high-quality content, integration of advanced and unique technologies, and the creation of breathtaking spaces – all of which combine to create an unforgettable personal experience.

    The Chain of Generations Center consists of six underground spaces that take the visitor on a moving and exciting journey through Jewish history using unique state-of-the-art technology.

    Over twelve million visitors from Israel and from around the world come to the Western Wall and its adjacent tourist sites annually. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, much of the Western Wall Tunnels sites’ activities took place remotely. During this time, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation worked on upgrading the Western Wall Plaza, the sites, and the restrooms for visitors.

    The Western Wall Heritage Foundation said, “We are excited to open the Tunnels sites to the general public, and happy about the high demand after a year in which the public connected mostly from afar. We are proud to be launching the new Chain of Generations Center. We invite the public to embark on the Jewish nation’s journey through the generations reaching to today, and experience the excitement that passes from family to family, from generation to generation, at the most significant site to the Jewish people. The Foundation invested tremendous efforts in order to create quality content that connects all visitors, no matter where they are from, to the heritage of the Western Wall and the Jewish nation’s chain of generations. Over the years, the Foundation has developed an array of unique programs and tourist sites offering visitors extraordinary sensory, empowering and emotionally-moving experiences.”

    The central motifs accompanying the experience are: faith, responsibility, hope, and memory – the themes that also accompanied the Jewish people throughout history and preserved it through its many trials and tribulations. In the first room, we meet our Patriarch Abraham, the father of our nation, who bequeathed to us his faith. The Children of Israel gave us responsibility when they became a nation in the Land of Israel. In the Hall of Destruction, we encounter hope, in the Hall of Yearning – memory, and we survive the Holocaust thanks to the four themes that bring us closer to revival. To conclude the experience and the personal connection to the story, the glass columns that we see along the journey become columns of faith, responsibility, hope, and memory, while between them, photos of the visitors that were taken at the entrance will be broadcast, showing the next links in the Jewish chain of generations.

    The New Great Bridge Route

    After years of development and archaeological preservation, we are happy to launch the new route in the Kotel Tunnels – the Great Bridge route.

    The Kotel Tunnels will now include two tour routes, each showing parts of the Kotel that had been hidden from view as well as exciting discoveries. As opposed to the Great Stone route, which shows the entire hidden length of the Kotel, the new route goes down another level underground and exposes the glory days of the Bayit Sheni at the foot of the Kotel.

    The story of the Great Bridge is also the story of the glory and destruction of all of Yerushalayim. The water aqueduct on the bridge is an engineering wonder. To lead water from Shlomo’s Pools in Beit Lechem, the Chashmona’im built an aqueduct that was 23 kilometers long through Armon Hanatziv, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, and the Jewish Quarter. This engineering wonder, created with what was advanced technology at the time, is evidence of Jerusalem’s glory. The aqueduct served as one of Yerushalayim’s main water sources for almost 2,000 years until the days of the British Mandate.

    The destruction of Yerushalayim is also evident through the destruction of the bridge that occurred twice in history. The first time, it was the Chashmonaim themselves who destroyed it. The sons of Queen Shlomtzion destroyed the bridge during a battle between them. The second destruction occurred during the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. The destruction of the bridge is the destruction of Yerushalayim in general, the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, and the beginning of our long galut. The bridge has not been rebuilt since the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash.

    The continued excavations in the Kotel Tunnels sites at the base of the Kotel continuously reveal another layer of Yerushalayim’s history and the connection of all Jewish generations to our eternal capital. Through the information revealed in these excavations, we can fill in the missing parts of the story of our city, the center of the world.











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    Deep Below The Kosel, Jewish History Comes To Life