Procedure for entering the Western Wall plaza with animals

According to Regulation 2(a)(12) of the Protection of Jewish Holy Places Regulations, 5741-1981 (hereinafter: ‘the Regulations’), it is prohibited to bring animals into the Western Wall plaza. The reasons for this are the concern of an uproar that may occur as a result of bringing animals into the Western Wall plaza and Jewish law questions relating to animals entering a synagogue.

 

In view of the provisions of the Prohibition of Discrimination against Blind People accompanied by Guide Dogs Law, 5753-1993, the provisions of the Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Law, 5758-1998, and the provisions of the Equal Rights for People with Disabilities (Arrangements for Access to a Service) Regulations, 5773-2013, and out of respect for and a sense of commitment to people with disabilities, and pursuant to my power under Regulation 4(a) of the Regulations and after consulting the Chief Rabbis of Israel and the Minister of Religious Services, I hereby prescribe rules for the entry of service animals that accompany people with disabilities into the Western Wall plaza as follows:

 

  1. The entry of animals into the Western Wall plaza is prohibited, except in the cases stated in section 2 and except for animals that are used by the security forces in the course of carrying out their duties.
  2. A person with a disability who is assisted by a service animal will be able to enter the Western Wall plaza, except for the prayer plaza, while being assisted by a service animal, including a guide dog.
  3. Entry into the prayer plaza for a person with a disability who is assisted by a service animal will be done in the following way:

3.1    If possible, the persons in charge of organizing the plaza have been instructed to accompany a person with a disability wherever he wishes to go in the prayer plaza, to stand next to him and help him until he leaves the prayer plaza. During this period of time, the service animal will be under the supervision of an additional organizer outside the prayer plaza.

3.2    Insofar as the possibility stated in paragraph 3.1 cannot be implemented at that time, a person with a disability who is assisted by a service animal will enter the prayer plaza with the service animal accompanied by an organizer, provide that he will go to the side where no persons are praying, in order not to disrupt the prayers.

  1. Notwithstanding what is stated in section 2 above, at exceptional times, when there is a large crowd in the Western Wall plaza, such as a priestly blessing on the intermediate days of a Jewish holy day, large events, etc., entry will be permitted only according to the option stated in section 3.1 above.
  2. Training dogs will not be permitted to enter the Western Wall plaza.
  3. These rules will come into force on July 19, 2018.

 

Signed,

 

Shmuel Rabinowitz

Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places

Supervisor of the Western Wall

 

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