Prayer notes removed from the Western Wall in preparation for Passover

At the conclusion of the work, Rabbi Rabinovitch prayed for all those who wrote notes in order for their wishes to be fulfilled.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
April 12, 2019 15:43
2 minute read.
Notes to God emptied from the Western Wall (August 28, 2018).

Notes to God emptied by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch from the Western Wall ahead of Rosh Hashana (August 28, 2018). . (photo credit: WESTERN WALL HERITAGE FOUNDATION)

Earlier this week at the Western Wall, the prayer notes many worshipers and travelers who make their way far and wide to place in the Wall were removed from the stones before the Pesach holiday began.

The Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinovitch led a team from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation to extract all the notes from the Wall as he does twice a year.

The staff of the Western Wall Heritage foundation began clearing the notes from the stones that had been buried in the wall from the ast six months, and in the coming days they will be transferred to Genizah, a burial place for sacred religious texts on the Mount of olives, where they will be buried together with the old holy books also being transferred at the same time.

In order to preserve the privacy and dignity of those who write the note, the area was sealed until the collection was completed. All the notes were put in sealed sacks with close supervision of the employees to ensure the discretion. The prayer notes are each time removed by wooden sticks, as to not damage the sanctity of the stones.

During the morning, the stones were also inspected. The heritage foundation carries out a comprehensive examination of the stability of the Western Wall's stones twice a year, on the eve of Passover and Rosh Hashanah, including the Wilson's Arch and the Machkema Building. During the examination, the walls are cleaned from any excrement or loose stone and plaster.

At the conclusion of the work, Rabinovitch prayed for all those who wrote notes in order for their wishes to be fulfilled.

In the lower part of the wall, stone corrosion occurs. Conservationists have put a bonding material to strengthen the layers and stop the peeling in the past.

During the check last year a new technique was also tested— using ultrasound technology— to provide a picture of the inner structure of the stones without damaging it.
Every year, twice a year, these notes are collected and buried to prepare for the holidays of Rosh Hoshana and Passover.

Millions of notes are sent by people from Israel and all over the world. Notes are sent through the website of the Western Wall, fax and mail.

"Over the past 12 years, since it went online, 672,210 notes have been sent through the Western Wall website," the statement read

"The traditional Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) that will take place at the Western Wall Plaza on Monday, the 2nd day of Chol Hamoed," the statement concluded.

Yvette J. Deane contributed to this report.


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