The inspection takes place twice a year, before Rosh Hashana and before Passover. It is an important and comprehensive inspection that examines the stability of the Western Wall stones, including the area of the covered Wilson’s Arch.
The inspection team used a crane to go from stone to stone to check each one’s durability and level of maintenance using a system that keeps track of and updates each inspection. This takes place under the halachic supervision of the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, in conjunction with the Israel Antiquities Authority and engineers of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation in accordance with halachic restrictions that were determined and approved by Jewish legal authorities and the chief rabbis of Israel.
Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation said, “The Western Wall Heritage Foundation has been working for many years for the safety of visitors to the Western Wall. It is concerns, among other things, with examining the stability of the Western Wall stones. Each stone has an identity card based on which we keep track and inspect it twice a year before Rosh Hashana and before Passover, before thousands of pilgrims who visit at these times specifically, and throughout the year.”
Part of the preparation for the High Holiday season involves getting ready to host the Jewish nation for slichot prayers and for the holidays of the month of Tishrei. In order to spread out the crowds and make it possible for whoever wants to ascend to Jerusalem and join the slichot prayers, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has decided to add more prayer events 17 in total, and add live broadcasts of the slichot prayers so that anyone who cannot come in person, can still participate in the exciting events remotely.
The first slichot event at the Western Wall Plaza will take place on Thursday, 4 Elul (August 12, 2021) beginning at midnight. Additional information will be publicized before Rosh Chodesh Elul.