When Raila Odinga took to his Facebook about his time praying for Kenya on the Western Wall, the post sparked reaction with members of the public shunning its importance in comparison to the economic state of the country.
Raila claims a connection to this spiritual spot dating back from his time in detention in 1982 after the aborted coup during the Moi era. In his letter he explains how he prayed and wrote the wishes he had for the people of Kenya during his detention.
Also read: Raila’s special prayer for Kenyans at the ‘Wailing Wall’ in Israel
The question is, just how significant is this wall?
For those with in depth knowledge of religious history, the Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall is not new. Biblically defined as the center of the spiritual world, the Western Wall is a surviving remnant of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. According to Jewish blog Aish, the history of the wall has some interesting facts. Read on.
It is believed that prayers made on this wall go directly to God. (Courtesy)
- Jerusalem was destroyed and rebuilt nine times and through it all the one thing that remained intact is the Western Wall. It remains a symbol of hope for the Jewish people who even after the constant war have remained a united people.
- Ancient maps show Jerusalem at the epicenter of Asia, Europe and Africa.
- When King Solomon built the Temple, he specifically asked God to heed the prayers of non-Jews who come to the Temple (1-Kings 8:41-43). In the words of the prophet Isaiah, this was "a house of prayer for all nations."
- It became known as the "Wailing Wall" because of the centuries of endless tears, shed by Jews yearning to rebuild Jerusalem.
- Three times a day, for thousands of years, Jewish prayers from around the world have been directed toward the Temple Mount. Tradition says that all prayers from around the world ascend to this spot, from where they then ascend to heaven.
- A popular Jewish legend records that when the Temple was being built, the work was divided among different sectors of the population. The building of the Western Wall fell to the poor, and they worked hard to construct it, as they could not afford to hire laborers to do their work for them. When the enemy destroyed the Temple, the angels descended from on high and spreading their wings over the Wall and said: "This Wall, the work of the poor, shall never be destroyed."
Raila is known for his profound love for history and while this may or may not be a PR stunt, you’ve got to give it to him, this is one authentic touch to his race for presidency.