One of the large ancient cut stones making up what's now known as the "Western Wall" of Jerusalem's Temple Mount fell from its place and crashed to the platform below early Monday morning. A woman who was praying there at the time was nearly hit by the massive block.
This happened just hours after the conclusion of the Tisha B'Av fast, during which religious Jews lament the losses of the first and second temples.
The timing and the severity of the event prompted top rabbis to find spiritual significance in the falling of the stone, seen in the video below.
אחת מאבני הכותל נפלה הבוקר ממקומה והתרסקה על הרחבה המשותפת "עזרת ישראל", בנס ממש ללא נפגעים. מישהו כבר אמר שזה בגלל הרפורמים והקונסרבטיבים? pic.twitter.com/rtePSWtMrM
— יקי אדמקר (@YakiAdamker) July 23, 2018
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who is the head rabbi at the Western Wall, told Israel's Ynet news portal that "this is an exceptional and rare event that has not happened in decades … The fact that such a powerful event took place after the fast on the 9th of Av, in which we mourned the destruction of the our temples, raises questions and demands soul-searching."
Rabbi Rabinowitz also noted the danger of such collapses, which next time could occur when even more people are praying at the Wall, resulting in a great tragedy.
The section of the Western Wall where the stone fell has been closed for the time being to allow archaeologists and engineers to examine the damage and the potential for future collapses.
Israeli experts have been warning for years that the entire Temple Mount is at risk of collapse, and in need of urgent attention by structural engineers.
But, the Muslim religious authorities who control the sacred plateau, as well as much of the Muslim world, view any Israeli activity on or around the Temple Mount as an attempt to "Judaize" the site, which they claim is Islam's third holiest shrine.
PHOTO: Rabbis examine the stone that fell out of Jerusalem's Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)