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Was Ivanka Wrong About Judaism’s ‘Holiest Place’?

Ivanka Trump just wanted to share her emotional visit at the Western Wall with nearly 4 million Twitter followers. But what ensued was a social media storm questioning her understanding of Jewish history.

“It was deeply meaningful to visit the holiest site of my faith and to leave a note of prayer,” Ivanka Trump tweeted Monday, following her visit to the Wall.

But the first daughter, always under the magnifying glass of public attention and always having her critics waiting for any stumble, found herself in a world of Jewish trouble.

Is the Western Wall indeed the “holiest site” of Judaism?

Some on Twitter weighed in, reminding Trump that the holiest place for Jews is in fact Temple Mount, which is the site of the first and second temples. The Western Wall is a relic of a retaining wall built to support the second temple.

Is the firestorm justified?

Historically, Temple Mount is the holiest site to Jews, but in practical modern day Jewish life, the Western Wall, to which access is easier and which has become the center of Jewish worship in old Jerusalem, has become synonymous with the faith’s most holy place. So maybe she got it right, after all.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman

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Was Ivanka Wrong About Judaism’s ‘Holiest Place’?

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