page Center of the Jewish Universe
David’s son, King Solomon, established the first Temple there, making Jerusalem the religious center of the Jewish universe — a status which the ancient city continues to enjoy today, despite the Temple having been destroyed twice (the First Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. by the Babylonians; the rebuilt Second Temple was subsequently destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D).
Even though the Temple remains a long-vanished thing of the past, Jerusalem today remains a city of profound religious history and meaning for Judaism. The Temple Mount (the original site of both Temples), with its famous Western or “Wailing” Wall (the ancient remains of a Temple courtyard wall) continues to attract pilgrims by the thousands, who come to pray — as they have for centuries — in the presence of what Jews still regard as the holiest place on Earth.
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