This evening, while lighting the first candle of Chanukah, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, along with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, and Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, inaugurated the Great Bridge Route in the Western Wall Tunnels. This is a new walking tour following the glorious days of the Second Temple period that descends an additional level below ground along the remnants of the Great Bridge that led pilgrims to the Second Temple. The route includes various rooms and spaces that served those living at that time, new and exciting discoveries, and a new exposure of layers of the Western Wall.
Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz: “The new route in the Western Wall Tunnels offers everyone an opportunity to discover the Western Wall’s deep and profound layers; to feel how much we are all links in the Jewish chain of generations. That is the power of the Western Wall. That is its secret. To illuminate for each person his/her place and his/her mission in this world. This event, here, this evening, sheds light. For two thousand years, these remnants waited for us underground. Today, we shine a light on all of them. We reveal another part of our roots. We look back to walk forward. We draw strength from our ancestors in order to continue passing our heritage on to our descendants.”
Following approximately 8 years of development and archaeological preservation work, the Great Bridge Route is opening to the public on Chanukah. The Western Wall Tunnels will now have two tour routes with each bringing the visitor to parts of the Western Wall that have been hidden from view as well as to fascinating findings.