An estimated 85,000 people are expected to arrive at the Kotel plaza on Monday night for the final recitation of the Selichot prayers prior to Yom Kippur, the holiday of atonement.

The central service began at 11:30 PM, led by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yonah Metzger, as well as Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Kotel and Holy Places.

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Witnesses said the sounds of the prayer leaders and the giant crowd could be heard clearly on the Mount of Olives.

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Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.