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 Holiday Central > Yom Yerushalayim > Jerusalem Gates > Sha'ar HaRachmim
The Gates of Old Jerusalem
Sha'ar HaRachamim- The Golden Gate

“Sha’ar HaRachamim” (Hebrew "שער הרחמים")  Golden Gate by Christians, and Bab al-Dhahabi in Arabic, it’s believed to have been constructed in the post-Byzantine area.

This gate is called “Sha’ar HaRachamim” or Gate of Mercy, because of the Jewish belief and tradition that the gate is where the Messiah will enter at the end of days. It is therefore a place that one would pray at and ask for mercy.

The gate is actually made up of two portals that lead straight to the Temple Mount. The southern portal is called “Sha’ar HaRachamim” or Gate of Mercy and the northern portal is called “Sha’ar Hatshuva” or gate of repentance.

The Arabic name for this gate is Bab al-Dhahabi meaning Gate of Eternal Life – because they believe this will the site of resurrection, as do the Christians who call it “Golden Gate.”

The Golden Gate or Sha’ar HaRachamim is the oldest and most important and impressive portal to the old city of Jerusalem. Based on archeological excavations, the Golden Gate is deemed to have been built during the Byzantine era on top of ruins of an older gate built in the time of the second temple. Monolithic stones found at base of the current gate were identified as dating to the time of the prophet Nechemia.

Though this is the only gate that was not rebuilt by Suleiman the Magnificent, he did seal it off in the year 1541. What prompted Suleiman to close off the gate is the concern, that there is validity to the Jewish traditional belief that the Messiah will enter Jerusalem through Sha’ar Harachamim. In addition, Arabs built a cemetery right in front of the gate, also intending to block the Jewish Messiah or his precursor the Prophet Elijah from entering the city, as they were both Kohanim. According to Jewish law a Kohen (high priest) can not enter a cemetery. However, their ploy is flawed, of course, as Jewish biblical tradition states that the Messiah will be from the family of King David, whose is descendant from the tribe of Judah, not Levi, and therefore not a Kohen.

The Golden Gate or Sha’ar HaRachamin is situated on the eastern side of Jerusalem’s old city wall and opens directly in front of the Temple Mount. The placement of the gate is believed to have been for ritualistic purposes in biblical times.

Click the following for the list of all of Old Jerusalem's Eight Gates: The Gates of the Old City of Jerusalem

Mazor Guide to Yom Yerushalayim brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.

MazorGuide Recommended Reading

  - A House of Prayer for All Nations: The Holy Temple of Jerusalem ~ by Chaim Richman
  - Letters from Jerusalem 1947-1948 (Paperback)  ~ by Zipporah Porath
  - The Story of Israel - Special Edition: From Theodor Herzl to the Roadmap for Peace ~ by Martin Gilbert
  - Tales Out of Jerusalem: Seven Gates to the City  ~ by Rabbi Emanuel Feldman


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