Preparations are underway at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to receive tens of thousands of worshipers who are expected to arrive before midnight Saturday night to attend the central Selichot prayers, with the theme of “And grant peace among us” on the eve of the most solemn, sacred day on the Jewish calendar: Yom Kippur.
As Yom Kippur 5784 approaches, the climax of the month of mercy, forgiveness, and the High Holy Days, the central Selichot ceremony will be held at the Western Wall Plaza, beginning at midnight.
The ceremony will commence with Hatarat Nedarim, the annulment of vows, followed by the recitation of the traditional Selichot by Cantor Moshe Havusha. Those who wish to attend virtually, may view the prayers right here.
The prayers will be broadcast live on giant screens on the outskirts of the Western Wall, and on the walls of the Old City for the benefit of those who cannot attend in person. The Old City will be closed to traffic, and instructions from the ushers should be followed.
This will be the 19th such event, traditionally organized by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, since the start of Elul, a record number compared to previous years.
The event will be attended by Chief Rabbis of Israel, the Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places, the Mayor of Jerusalem, government ministers, public figures, and tens of thousands of worshippers from all over the country, from the north to the south, who will arrive for the final Selichot prayer before Yom Kippur at the Western Wall.
Preparations are being made to accommodate tens of thousands of worshippers who will come to pray the Yom Kippur prayers at the Western Wall.
Crowds are expected to gather for the Ne’ilah prayer, symbolizing the conclusion of the holy day. Food and drink will be distributed afterwards to the worshippers to break their fast.
More than two million people participated in Selichot at the Western Wall during the month of Elul and the Ten Days of Repentance, according to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
“This year saw a record number of 18 central Selichot events in order to prevent overcrowding and disperse the masses,” the Foundation said.
“These prayers unite the entire spectrum of the Jewish people in this emotional month, at the place that unifies us.”
NOTE: Entrance to the Old City and the Western Wall will be closed in case of overcrowding, and the public is being urged to listen to the instructions of the ushers and follow the updates and instructions.