Western Wall notes removed for Passover, stones sanitized for coronavirus

The notes are removed bi-annually every year before Passover and Rosh Hashana, however this year extra emphasis was placed on sanitation and hygiene.

A special team collects notes placed at the Western Wall for the annual Passover removal. (photo credit: THE WESTERN WALL HERITAGE FOUNDATION)
A special team collects notes placed at the Western Wall for the annual Passover removal.
(photo credit: THE WESTERN WALL HERITAGE FOUNDATION)
The thousands of notes placed by worshipers in the Western Wall were removed Tuesday morning in time for Passover. 
The notes were collected in bags and, per tradition, were buried together with sacred papers at the sacred geniza storage sight at the Mount of Olives.
Rabbi of the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz accompanied the notes on the way to their burial, praying for the recovery of those fallen ill from the coronavirus from the Jewish people across the world. 
“During these difficult days in which the plague is spreading around the world and threatening our lives, we collect prayers from around the world at the remnant of our destroyed Temple, prayers to the Creator of the Universe that He should send us a complete healing and good health and redeem us from this difficult virus that has attacked the world," he said.
The notes are removed bi-annually every year before Passover and Rosh Hashana, however this year extra emphasis was placed on sanitation and hygiene. 
The stones of the wall were disinfected and cleaned, and workers removed the notes using wooden tools and disposable gloves. 
The Western Wall offers an online service for people not able to place notes themselves, to send in their prayers. In the last six months alone they have received upwards of 18,000 notes. This number pales to the notes placed by the hundreds of thousands of worshipers that visited the wall in person.