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  • Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the health of the Western Wall stones is also being cared for

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the health of the Western Wall stones is also being cared for

WesternWall ConsevationCovid

Israel Antiquities Authority conservator: The non-invasive measures are protecting the Western Wall from the ravages of time.
Pre-Passover conservation work began at the Western Wall during this latest lockdown using injections with the aid of syringes very similar to those used by medical staff.

Every six months, before Passover and the High Holy Days, Western Wall Heritage Foundation engineers and Israel Antiquities Authority conservators conduct thorough inspections of the 2,000-year-old Western Wall stones at the prayer plaza to ensure visitors’ safety.

The work being carried out at the site is subject to religious strictures established by the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, after consultations with  great rabbis of the time, nearly eighteen years ago, particularly Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, says, “Over 12 million people visit the Western Wall Plaza each year. Although this year, in the shadow of Covid-19, people are increasingly ‘visiting’ the Western Wall virtually , we are already preparing for the return of visitors to the Wall. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is making every endeavor to preserve the Wall’s ancient stones and ensure its stability  for the safety of worshipers and visitors.”

According to Yossi Vaknin, head conservator for the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Western Wall area, “The Wall’s 2,000-year-old stones are subject to natural weathering and we are making sure  to strengthen them. Our routine biannual inspections enable us to track the condition of every single stone. We have an ‘identity card’ for each of the hundreds of stones in the plaza and monitor dozens of features. Our most recent survey revealed that it was necessary to treat the ‘peel’, or outer layer, of several stones. Our work on the historic wall is nondestructive. We do not drill into the stone, but delicately inject dissolved stone into the gaps and fissures. limestone-based grout is injected into the fissure as a liquid, and when dry, the crack is repaired. It is the best possible method of ‘healing’ the stones and the ultimate defense against weathering for the most important stones in the world.”

One of the main contributors to the weathering of the Temple Mount’s walls is the ecosystem that forms an integral part of the landscape of the ancient Western Wall. “The Western Wall is a unique ecological environment that supports its own life forms,” says Vaknin. “A lot of plants have taken root in the Wall’s stones – particularly thorny capers, golden drops and golden henbanes. Added to this, many birds nest in the Wall, including the common swift which arrives every year, ravens, and doves. As part of our conservation work, in recognition of the importance of the site’s unique flora and fauna, we also preserve this ecosystem while guaranteeing the stones’ stability, thus ensuring that the Western Wall will remain strong for at least 2,000 more years.”

Today August 9, 2022

End of prayer time:
Mid day:
הכותל המערבי

We invite you to be a true partner and assist in the ongoing maintenance of the Western Wall


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Interesting Facts

The Western Wall's visible stones tell of its history from the time of the Holy Temples' ruin. The original Herodian stones are distinct from the others in size and in their unique borders.
The building style of "grading" used when layering the Western Wall's stones, teaches us that the Temple Mount's walls were not perpendicular but marginally sloping.

Parasha of the Week

Notice for Women's Section in Tunnels

The women's section in the Western Wall Tunnels closes on Fridays at 13:00 and opens again about 15 minutes before Shabbat begins.

Event Calendar

11 Av 5782
August 8, 2022
Parashat Va’etchanan 5782 Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites
10 Av 5782
August 7, 2022
As Tisha B’Av draws to a close: circles of unity, singing, and prayer for
6 Av 5782
August 3, 2022
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation invites you to a join us for a unique
6 Av 5782
August 3, 2022
After the destruction of the Second Temple, in the year 3830 [70 AD], the
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