The periodic inspection of the stability of the Western Wall stones was carried out Tuesday night and Wednesday morning by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
The foundation does a thorough inspection of the Wall twice a year, ahead of Passover and Rosh Hashanah. The inspection includes the Western Wall stones, Wilson’s Arch covered area, and the wall of the Makhama building. The stones are cleaned and debris from birds as well as loose stone particles is removed.
A greater than normal amount of stone and plaster particles were removed from between the stones during this inspection.
The lower section of the Western Wall, which is composed of the Wall’s original stones, suffers from corrosion. This year, many “husks” were removed. In order to solve this, preservation experts soak the peeling stone in binding materials based on natural lime (the stone’s consolidation). This strengthens the layers and stops the peeling. This part was done under the supervision of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, in conjunction with the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Halachic restrictions were strictly adhered to and the permission was given by the Chief Rabbis of Israel and other rabbinical religious authorities.
In addition, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation is preparing for the traditional pre-Passover note-removal process that will take place on Wednesday, 5 Nissan (10 April), when notes will be removed from between the walls and treated as sacred objects.