A forgotten tale of heroism and pioneering in the heart of the quarter
The Western Wall… the evening after Yom Kippur in the late British mandate period. Prayers for the day are coming to an end and there is tension in the air. British and Arab police officers supervising the prayer point their bayonets to the congregation and carefully examine them… tension rises and suddenly, as though out of nowhere, the blowing of the shofar sounds… the crowd bursts into calls of “next year in rebuilt Jerusalem” but the British police furiously charge into the courtyard. Violence and bloodshed end the holy day, but nothing can stifle the lifted spirits of the congregation. Every year, until 1947, there were those who dared to smuggle in a shofar and blow it, despite the prohibition imposed by the mandate authorities, even at the cost of their liberty. Among those blowing the shofar were the youth of “Plugat HaKotel” (“Platoon of the Wall”).
Plugat HaKotel was founded in 1937 by the Beitar movement. It was one of the Beitar Platoons (such as “the Rosh Pina Platoon” and “the Kfar Saba Platoon”) to which volunteers who served working and defending the moshavot were recruited. The youth of Plugat HaKotel worked in construction and building roads for a living, but their primary role was to protect Jews on their way to the Western Wall from harassment by Arabs who were growing in numbers at the time. In the Plugat HaKotel Museum, you can watch a video telling the story of the Platoon members’ lives in the quarter, their heroic actions and the great risks they took. In 1938, the British closed the Platoon’s center in the quarter, but eighty years later, it has reopened – this time as an exciting museum that tells the forgotten story of the young men and women who gave the prime years of their lives for the good of their people.
Our recommendation: While standing near the entrance of the building, notice the giant stones at the base of its corner. These stones belong to ancient stores of the cardo street from the Byzantine period. How symbolic that giant stones from an era, during part of which Jews were prohibited from living in Jerusalem, serve as a foundation for a building that symbolizes the revival of the same people in their city, 1,400 years later.
*You must bring this ticket with you to enter the site.
*Visit duration is approximately 45 minutes.
*Cancellation terms: up to 3 business days before the visit, cancelling after this will be charged at the full price.
*The address is Hayehudim St, Plugat HaKotel corne.