Kosel Gets Ready for Slichos

YERUSHALAYIM -
Workers remove kvitlach (prayer notes) placed between the ancient stones of the Kosel, Wednesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Kosel will be open to mispallelim during Selichos, in compliance with Health Ministry guidelines to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

The Kosel Plaza has been divided into capsules, and people will be required to wear masks.

Even with the restrictions, up to 10,000 mispallelim will be allowed to enter the open-air area at a given time, according to The Jerusalem Post. However, in the event of overcrowding, entries to the Old City of Yerushalayim and the Kosel will be closed off.

The twice-annual practice of removing kvitlach (prayer notes) inserted into the crevices of the Kosel was carried out on Wednesday. The same procedure was performed before Pesach.

Under the supervision of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Kosel and Holy Sites, the kvitlach were removed using single-use wooden tools, to be placed in genizah on the Mount of Olives.

Thousands of the written prayers were removed, though no official total was given.

Every month, an average of 3,500 notes are sent via the Western Wall Heritage Foundation’s website.

Just since the outbreak of the corona pandemic last year, over 100,000 notes have been sent from all around the world, including: the United States, England, Brazil, Peru, Czechia, Russia, Germany, and even some from Jordan and the UAE, the Foundation said.

That figure apparently does not include all those which are placed in the Kosel by mispallelim in person.