Photo Credit: Western Wall Heritage Foundation
Thousands of notes placed between the stones of the Western Wall over the past six months were collected and transferred to a designated "geniza" storage area for discarded sacred texts.

As is customary each year before the Passover holiday at the Western Wall, thousands of notes that were placed between the stones in the past six months were collected on Tuesday and transferred to a designated genizah (storage area for worn-out sacred texts).

In honor of the Passover holiday, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation conducted the traditional clearing of the thousands of prayer notes that were crammed in between the sacred stones.


The clearing was carried out according to halachic (Jewish law) guidelines, using gloves and disposable wooden tools.

The purpose of the clearing is to make space for new notes from visitors expected to arrive at the Western Wall in the coming months, as well as prayer notes sent from various countries around the world.

The notes were collected in bags and will be buried together with worn-out sacred books in a designated genizah.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall and the holy sites, personally oversees the clearing each year, offering prayers for unity among the Jewish people and for the thousands who have placed their prayers.

The custom of placing notes in the Western Wall has been documented for nearly 300 years by the Ohr Hachaim.

Prayer notes are placed throughout the length of the Western Wall and can also be found between the stones exposed in the Western Wall Tunnels.

According to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, an average of 3,000 notes are sent each month through the Foundation’s website, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of notes personally placed by visitors.

Over the past year, about 100,000 notes were sent via the Foundation’s website from various countries around the world, including the United States, Slovakia, Brazil, South America, Colombia, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, England, Russia, Venezuela, Ukraine, India, Mexico, Argentina, Taiwan, and more.

Notes are sent to the Western Wall throughout the year, each note with its own story.

Since October 7th, in addition to the thousands of visitors who came to the Western Wall and placed notes, many notes were also sent via the website from Israel and around the world by IDF soldiers, the wounded, families of hostages, and more.

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation noted that despite a decrease in the number of tourists since the Sukkot holiday, the number of notes placed by Israelis and sent from various locations around the country has increased.

The traditional Birkat Kohanim Priestly Blessing ceremony will take place on Thursday, the second day of Chol Hamoed (the intermediate days of Passover), on 17 Nissan, 5784 (April 25, 2024). Here’s the schedule:
* Shacharit: 8:45 am
* Birkat Kohanim of Shacharit: 9:15 am
* Mussaf: 10:15 am
* Birkat Kohanim of Mussaf: 10:30 am
* Prayer for the return of the hostages, for the well-being of IDF soldiers, for the healing of the wounded, and for peace in Israel: 10:45 am


Previous articleIsraeli-Led Researchers Discover the Milky Way’s Heaviest Black Hole
Next articleMessage to Iran’s Dictator
Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.