About 30,000 people from a long list of countries around the world have sent messages and prayers that were placed among the stones of the Kotel (Western Wall), the Kotel Heritage Foundation said ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation reported a welcomed increase in visitors from Israel and the world coming to the Western Wall, as well as an increase in the number of prayer notes that were buried in the last six months between the stones of the Western Wall.
“This is a peak period like which the Kotel has never known before,” the Foundation underscored.
The custom of burying the notes at the Kotel was already documented about three hundred years ago by Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar, Known as the Ohr Hachayim HaKadosh. The prayer and request notes were buried along the entire length of the Western Wall, even in the ones along the tunnels of the Western Wall.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of notes are placed by visitors and worshippers. In addition, in the last year, about 30,000 notes were sent through the website from countries around the world, including the US, Slovakia, Brazil, South America, Colombia, Germany, Holland, Canada, England, Russia, Venezuela, Ukraine, India, Mexico, Argentina, and Taiwan.
Ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the notes were collected using disposable wooden tools to designated storage facilities. The notes were collected in special sacks and will be buried together with holy books that are transferred to the genizah on the Mount of Olives.
The notes are removed periodically to ensure the integrity of the wall.
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places, personally accompanied the evacuation as every year and offered a prayer for the thousands of visitors who deposited their prayers at the holy site.