For the first time since the pandemic erupted, about 300 Paratroopers came to the Western Wall for their exciting end of trainings. They were also divided into "capsules", as per Health Ministry regulations.
Rabbi, Professor, and Lord Jonathan Sacks zz”l, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, passed away this past Shabbat. He told of coming to Israel immediately following the Six Day War. “I had come to study in Israel…and was standing on the newly rebuilt Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus as the sun began to set, bathing the whole landscape in a divine radiance.As I found myself looking down on the Temple Mount, I recalled the famous story at the end of Masechet Makot, where Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues are looking down at the ruins of the Temple…As the rabbis wept, Rabbi Akiva smiled and laughed, and when asked how he could, Rabbi Akiva retold the two interlinked prophecies of Uriah – who foresaw the day when Jerusalem would be ruined – and Zachariah – who saw the day it would be rebuilt.Said Rabbi Akiva, until he saw the first prophecy fulfilled, he was not sure the second would be. Now he had seen the first prophecy fulfilled, he knew the second would one day also come true.I remember standing at almost that exact spot and being overwhelmed with emotion.For almost 2,000 years, Jews had waited for that moment, and ours was the generation that lived to see Jerusalem reunited and rebuilt…We had lived to see in person what our greatest prophets could only see in a vision.”Am Yisrael lost its most profound and articulate representative to the nations of the world. We long for the great people who are lost to us but who will never be forgotten
This morning (Monday), over 2,000 worshippers came to the Western Wall Plaza including worshippers of “netz” early morning prayers and bar mitzvah families who returned to celebrate bar mitzvahs and connect to our heritage here at the Western Wall, in the open air.The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is preparing for prayers amid the coronavirus restrictions even in the rain which began to fall last night. The Foundation set up prayer areas (capsules) in accordance with regulations and added coverings to allow for prayer services to continue unabated even in rainy weather.
Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Luigi Di Maio, came to the Western Wall for what was the first official and exciting visit since the end of the lockdown. He was greeted by the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, and the director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mr. Mordechai (Suli) Eliav who prayed with him for peace in the world in the face of the coronavirus pandemic affecting us and the residents of his country who are currently in the midst of an additional wave of the virus. Rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz wished the Minister and his country, “May you be able to quickly recover from the situation your country has been facing with the eruption of the second wave of the virus. This is a difficult time for you and for the entire world, but with the power of prayer and faith, we can succeed.” The Rabbi also noted that, “Many European leaders have not come to the Western Wall for prayer in the past, and in the past two years, there has been a marked change and many leaders from Europe have come here, and I bless this change. It contributes toward peace among the nations.”Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Luigi Di Maio said, “Many in Italy and in general have changed their relationship with Israel after coming to visit here or after a visit of their leaders in Israel.” He added that as he said to his friend, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, “When the vaccine reaches Europe, we will also take care of our friends here in Israel. We are good friends of Israel’s and we will continue to support and assist it.”The Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mr. Mordechai (Suli) Eliav presented the Jewish heritage and history of the site and told of the yearnings for Jerusalem throughout the generations. Minister Di Maio was very impressed and placed a note between the stones of the Western Wall.
The Bar Mitzvahs at the Western Wall today, October 29th, are dedicated in honor (zechut) of Raymond Diwan's Bar Mitzvah
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