“The Wall and the Trash”
Salim the Resolute was a fascinating Ottoman conqueror and sultan who brought the entire middle east under his rule. In the year 1516 He set up his main offices in the center of the recently captured Jerusalem.
One day he noticed a woman dumping garbage in a massive heap right below his window.
As a ruler of most of the known world, this brazen act of disrespect flared his anger. He ordered her in for questioning. After some pressure she divulged her secret: “I come from Bethlehem. My family is of Roman descent. My ancestors were among the destroyers of Jerusalem and the exilers of the Israelites.”
“One thing irritated my forefathers more than anything. They had succeeded in destroying nearly every last trace of the Jews. Yet, no matter how hard they tried they couldn’t destroy the Western Wall of the Temple Mount.”
“So my family has a tradition. From time to time we haul our collected trash to Jerusalem to this spot. It has become a massive heap, and we can’t see what’s underneath, but apparently we’ve buried the Wall… which is the best we can do, seeing as the stones have proven indestructible.”
The Sultan saw an incredible opportunity. He took dozens of gold coins and personally buried them deep in the pile of garbage. He then send messengers throughout Jerusalem to spread the news: Take the garbage home. Sift through it. The gold you find is yours.
And within days the Kotel emerged whole and pristine after sleeping in dirt for more than a millennium.