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Israel. Jerusalem. Old city. Several Jewish men and a young boy wearing a kipper are praying at the Western Wall. A kippah (also spelled as kippa, kipa, kipah, kippot) is a brimless cap, usually made of cloth, traditionally worn by Jewish males to fulfill the customary requirement that the head be covered. The Wailing Wall or Western Wall, often shortened to the Kotel or Kosel, known in Islam as the Buraq Wall is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. The wall was originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, in a huge rectangular structure topped by a flat platform, thus creating more space for the Temple itself, its auxiliary buildings, and crowds of worshipers and visitors. In one of several varying Muslim traditions, it is the site where the Islamic Prophet Muhammad tied his winged steed, al-Buraq, on his Isra and Mi'raj to Jerusalem before ascending to paradise, and constitutes the western border of al-Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. © 1990 Didier Ruef