Rabbi Reuven Hammer makes excellent points in his Jerusalem Post opinion piece today reminding us that the Western Wall – site of premeditated ultra-Orthodox rioting Friday against Women of the Wall group –
is (a) not part of the original second temple structure and
(b) is the remnant of an edifice built by Herod.
It has symbolic and mythic value, of course, and its antiquity is an expression of the connection between Jewish civilization and the Land of Israel.
My sentiments -- needless to say -- are with the progressive and liberal forces within Judaism.
I myself tend to avoid the Jewish Quarter of the Old City unless we have guests from abroad or out of town. The area strikes me as a Diaspora-oriented Disney-like theme park.
I'll stick with the Herod exhibit at the Israel Museum.