This evening (Wednesday), U.S. Ambassador Friedman came to the Western Wall Plaza with his wife as he completes his tenure. The Ambassador was greeted by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall, Mayor Moshe Leon, mayor of Jerusalem, and his wife, and Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.When U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman landed in Israel on Monday, the 19th of Iyar, 5777 (May 15, 2017), he went straight to pray at the Western Wall.Today, the Ambassador is ending his tenure here, at the Western Wall Plaza.The Rabbi of the Western Wall, the Mayor of Jerusalem, and the Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation all spoke in honor of the Ambassador. The Director of the WWHF also presented him with the most recent findings in the Western Wall Tunnels.Ambassador Friedman recited a Psalm of thanks in front of the Western Wall stones. He noted that Jerusalem was always at the peak of his joy throughout his ambassadorship. He was particularly pleased of the accomplishments during his tenure on behalf of Israel and Jerusalem, and of the official visits by U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to the Western Wall.The Ambassador added that one of the most exciting parts of his job was to come to the Western Wall every year and, as a kohen (priest), take part in the traditional Birkat Kohanim (Priestly blessing) at the Western Wall, a custom he intends to continue in the future.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is taking advantage of the present lockdown for reinforcement, stabilization, and infrastructure improvement at the Western Wall Plaza. Furthermore, preservation work of a wall in the Mahkama structure is being done in order to prevent the fall of detached stones. The work follows recommendations made over the past several months by the Israel Antiquities Authority and safety engineers.
We congratulate Jonathan Pollard who landed in Israel this morning. As per his request, we are waiting for him to recite a prayer for thanksgiving at the Western Wall.
About 100,000 people came to the Western Wall Plaza during the eight days of Chanukah amid the coronavirus restrictions (in comparison to approximately 500,000 last year). About 500,000 people tuned in to the live broadcasts of Chanukah candle-lighting throughout the holiday through the Kotel website and various media outlets.
The Western Wall Plaza is home to some of the most interesting historical tourist sites in the world, which offer a unique perspective on the genealogy of the Jewish people and the history of Jerusalem. We invite you to visit the sites and enjoy an empowering and unforgettable experience.
The Western Wall Plaza hosts approximately 60,000 people. It symbolizes the Jewish link to Jerusalem and serves as the synagogue closest to the remains of both Holy Temples.
The Western Wall's visible stones tell of its history from the time of the Holy Temples' ruin. The original Herodian stones are distinct from the others in size and in their unique borders.
The building style of "grading" used when layering the Western Wall's stones, teaches us that the Temple Mount's walls were not perpendicular but marginally sloping.
Western Wall, Jerusalem