With thousands coming to the Kosel in Elul to say Selichos berov am, and in advance of the chagim, engineers are removing loose stones, mortar and weeds growing through the Kosel’s upper layers, and clearing out kvitlach and debris left there by birds. The engineers also tested the Wilson Arch and the wall of the Machkama building. Nothing irregular was found there.
As engineers were clearing away weeds growing between the stones, they found a bird’s nest, and were able to fulfill the mitzvah of shiluach hakein. Halachically permissible ways are being considered for strengthening the Kosel stones at the southern side, which have not been treated for years. Last year, a stone fell from this section.