Raila Odinga prays at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall

NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who is on a visit to Israel, on Tuesday toured the historic Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The site is also referred to as the Wailing Wall. Raila later explained the significance of visiting the site on his official website: “This week, I travelled to The Holy Land to deliver an address on democracy, religion and peace in Africa. While in Jerusalem, I visited the Western Wall. The Western Wall is the pulpit of the Temple of Solomon and is said to have been built over 5,000 years ago. This site is sacred to all three Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Islam and Christianity - and to me it is a very strong symbolism of strength and unity.”

According to history, the Romans probably would have destroyed the wall, but they did not as it was not even part of the temple itself. It was just an outer wall surrounding the Temple Mount.

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But for the Jews, this remnant of what was the most sacred building in the Jewish world quickly became the holiest spot in Jewish life.

“The story goes that you write your wish on a piece of paper, stick it on the wall and say a prayer and the message goes directly to God,” said Raila.

Raila said he began the tradition of writing down his wishes for this country while in detention:

“For those of you who may not know, detention is a miserable place with time mostly spent alone. You are completely alone for 23 out of 24 hours of the day. In those days, it would sometimes take six months to pass letters between my loved ones and myself. “With a lot of time on my hands, I used to write down the many wishes I had for the people of Kenya. Every time I visit, I take one of those wishes and place it on the wall.”

Raila’s visit created a sensation on the social media immediately he posted his photos deep in prayers under #RailaVisitsWesternWall and #RailainIsrael. 

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