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December 30th, 2010
07:25 PM ET

New app takes users to Western Wall

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

The holiest site in Judaism is now open to virtual travelers, with the debut of an app allowing iPhone and iPad users to see Jerusalem's Western Wall 24/6 - every day but the Jewish Sabbath.

"We had to get with the times," said Joseph Loshinsky, president of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which oversaw the app's creation and which administers the Western Wall.

Loshinsky, who owns an iPhone and iPad, says he thought of the app as a way to help solve the problem of "thousands of years of people dreaming of Jerusalem but not being able to get there."

The app includes a compass orienting users toward the wall to offer prayers from afar, a video feed of the wall - up everyday except Saturday - and a tool for sending messages to be inserted into the wall, a tradition for Jews visiting Jerusalem's Old City.

The app, called iKotel - after the Hebrew term for the Western Wall - was rolled out Monday and is available for free in English, Hebrew and Russian from Apple's online stores.

The wall is the sole remnant of Jerusalem's ancient temple, destroyed 2,000 years ago.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Israel • Middle East

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    We have learnt from birds and animals many things of science? So haven't we asked our selves why night flying insects are attracted to the light? Or maybe should ask our selves why were ancient nations worshiping the Sun the Moon the Stars the Fire?? They knew they should be looking for the light but have become stray time after time and after every messenger from the Right Straight Path which was taught to Adam and down to all Prophets and Messengers of God. 
    We in the Quran were told that God Allah has taught Adam all his names meaning the Knowldge and the Holy Message for Mankind to live with it on earth which only proves that there was a spoken language in which Adam listened from God and from Satan misleading him to eat a fruit of the forbidden tree and when talked to Eve? Teaching all that meant there were some writings done?
    In such case then there might have been scriptures from such length of time that had been changing hands as father to son and from hand to hand?
    There are verses of the Quran where God Allah mentioned teaching to Adam all names and then teaching to the prophets&messengers through people of knowldge and the Holy Spirit..

    Al-Baqara sura02:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels and said: "Tell Me the names of these if ye are right." (31) They said: "Glory to Thee: of knowledge we have none, save that Thou hast taught us: in truth it is Thou who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom." (32) He said: "O Adam! tell them their names." When he had told them their names, Allah said: "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?" (33).

    Al-Alaq sura 96:
    Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created― (1) Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: (2) Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful― (3) He Who taught (the use of) the Pen― (4) Taught man that which he knew not. (5).

    January 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Keep your thoughts positive, 
    because your thoughts become your words. 

    Keep your words positive, 
    because your words become your actions. 

    Keep your actions positive, 
    because your actions become your habits. 

    Keep your habits positive, 
    because your habits become your lifestyle. 

    Keep your lifestyle positive, 
    because your lifestyle becomes your destiny 

    January 1, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  3. Muneef

    Thanks for the year 2010 with it's sore and happy moments and we welcome a new year 2011 which no one is aware what it contains for us other than God Allah whom I certify for being no other God than Him and I certify that Muhammed is his messenger and that he was sent as the messenger of mercy and in mercy to the worlds..God had created negativity by Satan and positivity through Messengers as evil and good were created for testing faith of man and confidence "Iman" then there is always in between both whom we call stray..while the evil is the cursed one..
    Now look at it this way Black & White has Gray in between!
    Nagative & Posative
    Evil & Good
    Dark & Light
    We have learnt from birds and animals many things of science? So haven't we asked our selves why night flying insects are attracted to the light? Or maybe should ask our selves why were ancient nations worshiped the Sun the Moon the Stars the fire?? They new they should be looking for light but have become stray time after time after every messenger they become stray from the Right Straight Path that was tought to Adam down to all Prophets and Messengers of God. We were told that God Allah has tought Adam all his names meaning the Knowldge and the Message for Mankind to live with on earth which only proves there was a spoken language and since teaching all that means there was writings then there might have been scriptures from such length of time changing hands father to son and hand to hand their are verses where God Allah mentioned teaching to Adam and to the prophets&messengers through people of knowldge and the holy spirit ..

    January 1, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  4. 3rdMLNM

    Do not work for food that perishes
    but work for the Food that endures for Eternal Life,
    that the Son of Man will give it to you;
    for God has thus set His seal upon him!

    And God will raise that Son of Man
    on the -Third- and Last Day (=Millennium)! (John 6/27-40)

    *1 Day = 1000 Years in the eyes of God. (Psalms 90/4)

    So this one and only true GOD (of Abraham, David, and Jesus) has thus kept his promise now!
    Look up and see it again herein, for your eternal Salvation:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com

    December 31, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
  5. 3rdMLNM

    @ Hot & Reality,

    if you truly read and understand that clear, concise and precise Mathematical Miracles
    presented in the link provided above, you will then KNOW through an empirical evidence = MATHEMATICS
    therein that

    David was really a great prophet of this one and only true GOD;

    Jesus really existed, and he too was really a great prophet of this one and only true GOD;

    the Son of David & the Son of Man has thus already come, as it has truthfully promised by
    this one and only true GOD of father Abraham now, for the Salvation of every sincere believer on earth,
    in the beginning of this Final Age!

    Happy new year to all; remain in Peace, here and forever!

    December 31, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Do you mean http://www.holy-19-harvest.com?

      Sorry, I tried to read articles there, but it made no sense. Do I have to be on a specific drug to understand the "stuff" there?

      January 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  6. Muneef

    PLEASED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WISH YOU HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011
    MAY GOD BRING IT FOR US FULL OF JOY, HAPPINESS, HEALTH, WEALTH AND MUCH MORE SUCCESS...

    Just wonder if there will be space for PEACE IN YEAR 2011???

    December 31, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      I think we all need a laugh !!!!!
      A woman asks man who is traveling with six children,
      "Are all these kids yours?"*
      The man replies, "No, I work in a condom factory and these
      are customer complaints".

      Nominated as the best short joke this year...
      A three-year-old boy was examining his testicles while taking a bath.
      Mom" he asked, "are these my brains?"
      "Not yet," she replied.

      I dialed a number and got the following recording:** **
      "I am not available right now, but
      Thank you for caring enough to call.
      I am making some changes in my life.
      Please leave a message after the
      Beep. If I do not return your call,
      You are one of the changes." for the New Year 2011...

      December 31, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  7. Reality

    Required reading for orthodox Jews, Christians and Muslims:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    "Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument. "

    December 31, 2010 at 8:15 am |
    • Muneef

      The Sons of Israel when they run in Exudes from Misr they mostly carried gold taken from Misr and have not carried much pottery, their food came to them from the sky so if to look then look for gold and specially that Calf they made to worship and was burnt up and pushed from a high location in to the waters,so they should search the waters and not the deserts!!

      December 31, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  8. 3rdMLNM

    Sons of Israel,
    please, listen to what prophet David says here:

    ======
    Far away –from Israel– I would flee;
    I would stay in the Desert! (Psalms 55/8)
    ======

    So the Son of David, and the most important Message he has thus already brought from GOD (of Abraham)
    has already appeared in this far away Desert City now,
    so do not look for real salvation only in the direction of that ancient Wall now; but please, look up and immediately see
    the real Davidic Salvation up here now:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com

    December 30, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      When I read this, I thought we were wisely being told to listen to David Johnson, but then I read some of drivel at the link provided and realized it was just more believer "book of silliness" crap...

      December 31, 2010 at 2:35 am |
  9. Mike

    No point: there is no god. Idiots.

    December 30, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
    • Muneef

      Godless ? Like tubeless?
      Well we have our own if you lost yours it is your fault and nobadys else...?!

      December 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  10. Muneef

    The sons of Israel never listened to their Prophet and Messenger of God or to any one else after him kindly read the how stubborn they were and still found are;
    Start with Moses PBUH

    http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/musa.htm

    December 30, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
    • Reality

      o Once again we come to save Muneef and the other 1.5 billion lost Muslims from their Three B Syndrome, i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam but this time reducing to the Five Step Program for Deprogramming Islam to One Step in order to by-pass most of the language barrier:

      Gabriel never existed!!!!!! No Gabriel, no communiques from heaven and therefore Islam has no foundation or wall to stand on!!!

      December 31, 2010 at 12:07 am |
    • Bob

      > The sons of Israel never listened to their Prophet and Messenger of God

      Maybe that's because he took a 9 year old wife and had slaves. That sort of thing tarnishes a man's reputation you know...

      December 31, 2010 at 8:08 am |
    • Ykcyc

      @Muneef
      Lighten up and don't forget to drink your Ovaltine!

      December 31, 2010 at 11:15 am |
    • Muneef

      Bob.
      Don't know how old she was that Musa married to at... But understand that females at hotter areas become ripe at earlier age and if body was built well enough and had her monthly period coming early age than she is ready minimum 9 years old...
      There are still in some small cities, villages and remote areas families are having their daughters marrying at such age to men that could reach upto 80 years old...! But most the time is when poor families cannot support and in need of Money to support the rest of family members...it is pity but upon need should not we be surprised to see families selling their children or shipping them to the west for adaptation...?! The father of Moses wife was a prophet of God named in Arabic as Shouib and was old man and had only two daughters to herd the goats but needed a honest and strong man to hire for many years and the only hire wage he was able to give him was his doughtier as wife towards his time period work which reached more than 10 years...! Will follow this with the sura about it

      December 31, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Bob...

      Al-Qasas sura 28:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And there came a man, running, from the furthest end of the City. He said: "O Moses! the Chiefs are taking counsel together about thee, to slay thee: so get thee away for I do give thee sincere advice." (20) He therefore got away therefrom, looking about, in a state of fear. He prayed: "O my Lord! save me from people given to wrongdoing." (21) Then when he turned his face towards (the land of) Madyan, he said: "I do hope that my Lord will show me the smooth and straight Path." (22) And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks) and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: "What is the matter with you?" They said: "We cannot water (our flocks), until the shepherds take back (their flocks): and our father is a very old man." (23) So he watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade, and said: "O my Lord! Truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that thou dost send me!"… (24) Afterwards one of the (damsels) came (back) to him, walking bashfully. She said: "My father invites thee that he may reward thee for having watered (our flocks) for us." So when he came to him and narrated the story he said: "Fear thou not: (well) hast thou escaped from unjust people." (25) Said one of the (damsels): "O my (dear) father! Engage him on wages: truly the best of men for thee to employ is the (man) who is strong and trusty"… (26) He said: "I intended to wed one of these my daughters to thee on condition that thou serve me for eight years; but if thou complete ten years, it will be (grace) from thee. But I intend not to place thee under a difficulty: thou wilt find me, indeed, if Allah wills one of the righteous." (27) He said: "Be that (the agreement) between me and thee: whichever of the two terms I fulfil, let there be no injustice to me. Be Allah a witness to what we say." (28).
            

      December 31, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
    • Muneef

      Bob.
      AlQasas means "the stories" telling the true stories of the prophets that is pure from Israelites that corrupted the truth about the prophets and messengers of God to look unholy.. Have given a link above where you can read the story of each prophet and messenger of God... Think only when you read that then only you will have the respect we hold for all of them equally PBUThem all.

      December 31, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Muneef
      Lighten up and don't forget to drink your Ovaltine!

      Ykcyc.
      Don't over take that it might be the reason for the fat majority at yours?? Any way it is for giving warmth in cold countries and could not be suitable for hot ones?!

      December 31, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Muneef, are you really saying that it is ok for girls as young as 9 or 10 to be sold? If yes, and this is generally accepted by Islam and not just your demented view, then you have given me, and others I suspect/hope, a very clear and good reason to move from "Islam is just another tribal mythology- let it be?" to "Islam is sick!", just as christianity is sick because of its tolerance of child abuse.

      December 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I'm eagerly anticipating your answer to my question about 9 and 10 year old girls. Please enlighten me.

      January 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Muneef

      Given your silence here, and participation in other threads, I can only assume that you are choosing not to deny your apparent assertion that it's ok to sell 9 or 10 year old girls. I truly hope that I am wrong – please advise.

      January 3, 2011 at 12:15 am |
  11. Muneef

    Never really I understood what they have against this wall? But at least in Islam we know that black box in the Desert was rebuilt by Abraham PBUH? Unless the wall is meant to be their direction "Qiblah" well then I guess noting is wrong with that...but just wonder where about was the direction "Qiblah" of the Christians before they were plotted to give up their direction"Qiblah" in Jerusalem for a Cross that they can direct any where and by that they have lost their religious rights on Jerusalem?? No wonder the Cristians were considered the stray ? Maybe it is because they have lost their sense of direction since they have lost their worship direction the "Qiblah" which God has gave a great importance to for Muslims and the people of the Book??

    December 30, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
    • Lightsam

      Good grief, muneef! What are you ranting about?

      December 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      Haha,sorry man but it was about this article;

      LONDON, 21 SEPT. 2007 (ZENIT)

      Father Lang of the London Oratory, and recently appointed to work for the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, is the author of "Turning Toward the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer." The book was first published in German by Johannes Verlag and then in English by Ignatius Press. The book has also appeared in Italian, French, Hungarian and Spanish.

      Q: How did the practice of celebrating the liturgy "ad orientem," or "facing east," develop in the early Church? What is its theological significance?

      Father Lang: In most major religions, the position taken in prayer and the layout of holy places is determined by a "sacred direction." The sacred direction in Judaism is toward Jerusalem or, more precisely, toward the presence of the transcendent God — "shekinah" — in the Holy of Holies of the Temple, as seen in Daniel 6:10.

      Even after the destruction of the Temple, the custom of turning toward Jerusalem was kept in the liturgy of the synagogue. This is how the Jews have expressed their eschatological hope for the coming of the Messiah, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the gathering of God's people from the diaspora.

      The early Christians no longer turned toward the earthly Jerusalem, but toward the new, heavenly Jerusalem. It was their firm belief that when the Risen Christ would come again in glory, he would gather his faithful to make up this heavenly city.

      They saw in the rising sun a symbol of the Resurrection and of the Second Coming, and it was a matter of course for them to pray facing this direction. There is strong evidence of eastward prayer in most parts of the Christian world from the second century onward.

      In the New Testament, the special significance of the eastward direction for worship is not explicit.

      Even so, tradition has found many biblical references for this symbolism, for instance: the "sun of righteousness" in Malachi 4:2; the "day dawning from on high" in Luke 1:78; the angel ascending from the rising of the sun with the seal of the living God in Revelation 7:2; and the imagery of light in St John's Gospel.

      In Matthew 24:27-30, the sign of the coming of the Son of Man with power and great glory, which appears as the lightning from the east and shines as far as the west, is the cross.

      There is a close connection between eastward prayer and the cross; this is evident by the fourth century, if not earlier. In synagogues of this period, the corner with the receptacle for the Torah scrolls indicated the direction of prayer — "qibla" — toward Jerusalem.

      Among Christians, it became a general custom to mark the direction of prayer with a cross on the east wall in the apses of basilicas as well as in private rooms, for example, of monks and solitaries.

      Toward the end of the first millennium, we find theologians of different traditions noting that prayer facing east is one of the practices distinguishing Christianity from the other religions of the Near East: Jews pray toward Jerusalem, Muslims pray toward Mecca, but Christians pray toward the east.

      December 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm | |

      December 30, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  12. Dan

    That is one of the last places that I would like to go.

    December 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
    • sylar

      and we dont want you there either

      December 31, 2010 at 3:08 am |
    • dutchblitz

      Already been there. No need for an app to take me there.

      December 31, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  13. Gary

    earth is billions of years old. I was never real impressed with Isreal or any of the middle east.

    December 30, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  14. John Wright

    Where's my Android app!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
  15. Sue

    Everyone gets this wrong. The Wall is the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount. It is not a remnant of the actual temple. Does CNN have any fact checkers anymore?

    December 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • Amy

      @ Sue: The Kotel is the only remaining wall of the courtyard that surrounded the Temple Mount.

      December 30, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
  16. Let Us Prey

    Google Earth has had this online since 2005. Everything old is new again, at least for Apple.

    December 30, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • Jon

      Apple had nothing to do with this.

      Next?

      December 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • the man

      no it hasnt been in google earth. i checked get your s@@It straight. iphone will always be the best phone

      December 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
    • Diane

      Too bad it doesn't leave them there when it's done working.

      December 30, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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