As is customary, and with the approach of the peak of slichot and the High Holidays, this morning (Wednesday) prayer notes were removed from between the stones of the praying wall (The Kotel) that had been placed there over the past six months. They were removed using single-use wooden tools and placed in specially earmarked “geniza” containers. The notes were collected in special bags and will be buried along with other sacred books sent for geniza to Mount of Olives.
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, accompanied the note removal in person, as he does every year, and prayed for the thousands of visitors who had placed their notes in the Wall.
The custom of putting notes in the Western Wall was documented already three centuries ago among the students of Or Hachaim Hakadosh. Notes are placed all along the entire length of the Western Wall and can be found also between the stones uncovered in the Western Wall Tunnels.
Every month, an average of 3,500 notes are sent via the Western Wall Heritage Foundation’s website. Just since the outbreak of the corona pandemic last year, over 100,000 notes have been sent from all around the world, including: the United States, England, Brazil, Peru, Czechia, Russia, Germany, and even some from Jordan and the UAE.
Pictures attached, credit: The Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
Update of regulations at the Western Wall Plaza
Beginning on Thursday, 18 Elul, 5781 (August 26, 2021), the Western Wall Plaza will be divided into prayer capsules in accordance with Health Ministry directives.
Entrance during slichot events will be for up to 10,000 worshippers simultaneously.
It is obligatory to wear a mask everywhere on the Western Wall Plaza.
The public is requested to abide by ushers’ instructions for the health and wellbeing of all who come to the Western Wall. Please follow updates on the Western Wall website and other directives that are updated from time to time.
Please note! Entrances to the Old City and to the Western Wall will be closed if there are crowds. Please pay attention to the directions of the Israel Police and note changes in access routes.