Where is the center where all tefillos from around the world travel to, and then go up from there to shamayim?
Many people say that all tefillos travel to the kosel, where the Bais Hamikdash was, and then go up. However, I heard from two separate people, without sources, that the center is the Mearas Hamachpeilah.
Which is the true center where all our tefillos go up?
While it is true that there is a preference to davening at the graves of tzaddikim, however the main place for tefilloh is at the Bais Hamikdash, as it is written in Isiah 56-7 “וַהֲבִיאוֹתִים אֶל הַר קָדְשִׁי וְשִׂמַּחְתִּים בְּבֵית תְּפִלָּתִי עוֹלֹתֵיהֶם וְזִבְחֵיהֶם לְרָצוֹן עַל מִזְבְּחִי כִּי בֵיתִי בֵּית “תְּפִלָּה “and I will bring them to my holy mountain, and gladden them in my house of prayer, because my house is the house of prayer”. Shlomo Hamelech specifically davened for this when he inaugurated the Bais Hamikdash place where tefillos go up. See Melachim 1 chap. 8 from verse 28, how he prayed from this and that Hashem agreed that this is the place where prayers are accepted. Additionally, Yackov Aveinu (Genesis 28-17) on his way to Lavan had a dream of the angles going up and down on the ladder, at the place of the Bais Hamikdash. When he woke up he exclaimed “this must be the place of the house of Elokim, and this is the gates of the heavens”. Rashi on the verse explains because the place of the Bais Hamikdash is the place where our tefillos ascend to the heavens.
This idea has specific halachic ramifications, that we are required to face the place of the Bais Hamikdash when davening Shemona Esrei. The Shulchan Aruch writes, based on a verse in Divrei Hayamim 2 chap. 86 verse 32, which says “to pray towards this house”, that we are obligated to pray facing the place of the Bais Hamikdash. Therefore whenever a Jew davens no matter which country he is in, he faces toward Eretz Yisroel. Those in Eretz Yisroel have to face toward Yerushalyim, and those in Yerushalayim have to face toward the Bais Hamikdash. A person located to the south of Yerushalayim, between the makom Hamikdash and the Mearas Hamachpeila, when he davens, which direction does he have to face? The Bais Hamikdash, not the Mearas Hamahpela.