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At the side of the courtyard that one enters to reach the Kotel Hakatan is a large, green gate manned by policemen. This gate is called Shaar Habarzel (the Iron Gate; or Bab al-Hadid). Through the open wooden gate, you may catch a glimpse of Har HaBayit. The heart bleeds at beholding the makom haMikdash in such desolation. Seeing it so close up brings the reality of galus into sharper realization and heightens the pain.

To reach the Small Kotel, walk through the short tunnel in the far-back corner at the left of the men’s prayer section of the Kotel. Continue on Rechov Hagai (El-Wad Street), past Cotton Market Street, on your right, and Hebron/Chalidiya Street on your left. The Iron Gate Road is the next street on your right. Go up to the end of the street and turn left just before the entrance to Har HaBayit into the entrance to the Kotel Hakatan.

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On Erev Shabbos, Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv are davened there.

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Originally from south Africa, Vardah has been living in Eretz Yisrael since 1974 and the more she learns about our glorious Holy Land the more she gets to love this prime property that Hashem has given to the Jewish People. She is studying to be a tour guide and hopes with the help of Hashem, through this column to give readers a small taste of the land.

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