Reuters reports that an elderly worshipper had a close call on Monday when a 100-kg stone suddenly fell from Jerusalem’s Western Wall and crashed at her feet.
The Israel Antiquities Authority said the boulder may have been dislodged by erosion caused by vegetation or moisture in the biblical wall, the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray.
“I didn’t hear or feel anything until it landed right at my feet,” Daniella Goldberg, a 79-year-old Jerusalem resident who had gone to the wall in the early morning to worship, told Reuters.
A security camera captured the rare occurrence at the site revered by Jews as a remnant of the compound of the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
One of Islam’s holiest sites, the Noble Sanctuary, where al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock stand, lies above.
The Times of Israel Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Dov Kalmanovich said Monday that Reform Jews should reflect on the significance of a large stone that came crashing down on the Western Wall’s egalitarian prayer plaza earlier in the day.
Kalmanovich, of the national-religious Jewish Home party, said in a statement, “We must not explain and interpret natural phenomena as signs from heaven, as the ways of the Creator are hidden,” but then added that “the timing and the location of the fall raise many questions.
“I suggest that Reform leaders, Women of the Wall, and the other quarrel-mongers examine themselves, and not the Wall.”