1. This article is factually incorrect on numerous counts. First of all, the Western Wall is not the only surviving Herodian retaining wall of the Temple Mount: as any visitor can see, the southern and eastern walls also remain to this day, in at least as good repair as the Western Wall. Second, the term “HaKotel HaMaaravi” in relation to the retaining wall is much older than the 20th century: for example, Rabbi Ovadia ben Avraham of Bertinoro (15th century) mentions the western wall of the Temple Mount in his work Igrot Eretz Yisrael. (It’s unfortunate that the author searched one computerized database – Bar Ilan – and failed to recognize it contains only a limited subset of historical Jewish literature.) Third, the western wall of the Temple sanctuary, to which the midrashim refer and which apparently lasted for centuries longer than the rest of the sanctuary, was destroyed in the process of building the Dome of the Rock or shortly beforehand. So it is rather ludicrous to attibute the preservation of “Western Wall” to Muslim leaders. I could go on…

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  2. Sephardi stories about the beneficence of the Sultan seem to me about as credible as Ashkenazi stories about the beneficence of the Czar. As in, not at all.

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    Eli Dweck
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