Every year, tens of thousands of mispallelim visit the Kosel during the month of Elul for Selichos, especially for the central Selichos events on Erev Rosh Hashanah, during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah and on Erev Yom Kippur. But this year, unfortunately, due to the coronavirus restrictions, the tefillos at the Kosel will be limited to 2,500 people only.
In order to abide by the required directives and preserve public health, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation decided that entrance during these dates will be with entrance permits chosen by lottery, thus preventing unnecessary disappointment for the many who would want to travel to the Kosel and would be upset not to be allowed in due to Health Ministry restrictions.
Selichos times when entrance will be allowed only with entrance permits:
From Thursday night, 21 Elul until (including) Erev Rosh Hashanah, 29 Elul (September 10-18), and from Motzoei Rosh Hashanah, until (including) Erev Yom Kippur (September 20-26).
The entry permits for the Kosel will be for 11 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.
For the rest of the hours of the day, the Kosel will be open based on availability, as it has been until now.
Registration for the lottery will open to the public on the Western Wall Heritage Foundation website beginning Thursday, September 3, until Sunday, September 6, at midnight. It will be done by entering complete details including ID or passport numbers.
• Anyone can register for any of the above Selichos days and can register up to ten people under one name as long as all their relevant information is entered as well.
• Each person will have the possibility to win one entrance only for one of the Selichos nights.
• The lottery will take place on September 7 under the supervision of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation’s lawyer and accountant. The list of people who will receive entrance permits will be publicized on the Foundation’s website. Likewise, announcements will be sent to the winners on Wednesday, September 9.
• Entrance to the Western Wall Plaza will be conditioned on scanning the digital entrance permits along with presentation of each mispallel’s ID card or passport. Children under 7 who appear on the ID card appendix do not require a permit.