One million people visited the Western Wall during the holidays

The Western Wall saw a million worshipers during the High Holy Day season this year, after COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

 A MAN blesses the Arba Minim or Four Species, carrying a lulav, etrog, aravot and hadassim during the Birkat Kohanim Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall at Hol Hamoed Sukkot, September 2021. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A MAN blesses the Arba Minim or Four Species, carrying a lulav, etrog, aravot and hadassim during the Birkat Kohanim Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall at Hol Hamoed Sukkot, September 2021.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

About a million people visited the Western Wall during the High Holy Day season this year, according to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

Last year, COVID-19 restrictions allowed for only a limited number of worshipers to gather at the Western Wall Plaza, when previous years saw tens of thousands of worshipers.

Thousands joined for the traditional Selihot penitential services in the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah, as well as during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The pilgrimage holiday of Sukkot and Shmini Atzeret also saw large numbers of worshipers.

SLIHOT’ PRAYERS at the Kotel on Yom Kippur Eve. This year, we have so very much to think about, and given the restrictions in the way we celebrate, so much time to do that thinking. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)SLIHOT’ PRAYERS at the Kotel on Yom Kippur Eve. This year, we have so very much to think about, and given the restrictions in the way we celebrate, so much time to do that thinking. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The traditional Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) was also split over two days to avoid large crowds.

The rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz stated, “The masses that came to the Western Wall are impressive and strong proof of the Jewish nation’s connection with the Western Wall, which unites us all through preserving tradition and its holiness."

On the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah, the Western Wall was divided into 15 capsules, with 8,000 worshipers allowed at a time.