As ahead of every Rosh Hashanah, the employees of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has removed the notes that were put among the stones of the Wall in the last few months by visitors and worshipers. The notes were removed using wooden tools, not iron ones as was the custom at the ancient Temples.
After the removal, the notes were packed and transferred into special Genizah containers that are meant to store holy books and papers. They will later be buried in the Mount of Olives, together with other Genizah items.
The notes of prayer were hidden inside the Wall by worshippers both from Israel and abroad, Jews and non-Jews. Many notes were also put there by the employees of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, who received tens of thousands of prayers through the Foundation’s website and mail services.
Ever since the previous Rosh Hashanah, more than 32,000 notes were sent to the Wall through www.thekotel.org. Over 1500 of them were sent by people in Israel.
The notes came from many countries around the world, including the US, Brazil, Hungary, Mexico, Germany, England, Columbia, Argentina, Ukraine, Canada, South Africa, Russia, Indonesia, Spain, Liberia, Poland, Australia, Ecuador, Switzerland, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Morocco and Hong Kong.
In order to protect the privacy and wishes of the note-writers, the removal area was isolated until the process was over. All of the notes were sealed inside special bags.
The rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, accompanied the removal process and prayed for the hopes and wishes of all worshippers to come true for the best.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation continues to offer unique Selichot tours in the Old City that focus on the special atmosphere of the Western Wall during the Selichot prayers.
For details, *5859.
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Credit: the Western Wall Heritage Foundation