Jewish Event Calendar

Event Calendar

Jan 13, 2021

We share in the grief of the Adelson family

We share in the grief of the Adelson family

We share in the grief of Dr. Miriam Adelson and family on the passing of Mr. Sheldon Adelson z'l - a man who loved Israel and was devoted to connecting future generations in Israel and around the world to Jewish heritage and to our chain of generations.

Jan 11, 2021

Update of work at the Western Wall Plaza

Update of work at the Western Wall Plaza

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.

Dec 30, 2020

We congratulate Jonathan Pollard who landed in Israel this morning

We congratulate Jonathan Pollard who landed in Israel this morning

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.

Dec 22, 2020

The Rabbi of the Western  Wall met with the American emissary in Jerusalem this evening.

The Rabbi of the Western Wall met with the American emissary in Jerusalem this evening.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, met this evening in Jerusalem with Senior Advisor to the U.S. President, Jared Kushner. The Rabbi thanked Mr. Kushner for his tremendous contribution under President Donald Trump for the benefit of the State of Israel, Jerusalem, and recognizing it as the eternal capital of the Jewish nation.
Also present were Israel’s National Security Advisor, Meir Ben-Shabbat, and the Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mordechai (Suli) Eliav. The Rabbi gave Kushner an album of the Western Wall Tunnels and an ancient earthenware vessel and said, “This is incontrovertible proof of the connection between the Jewish nation and Jerusalem.  Thank you and the President for your great efforts to give this international recognition.  “Spread on us and on Jerusalem, Your city, the shelter of peace… May the Blessed be He pay your reward…May the Lord guard your going out and your coming in from now and to eternity.”

Dec 22, 2020

About 100,000 people came to the Western Wall

About 100,000 people came to 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.

Dec 17, 2020

Candle-lighting at the Western Wall Plaza for the Seventh Night of Chanukah

Candle-lighting at the Western Wall Plaza for the Seventh Night of Chanukah

This evening (Wednesday), the candle-lighting for the seventh night of Chanukah took place at the Western Wall Plaza in the presence of: Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau; Foreign Minister Major-General (res) Gaby Ashkenazi; MK Rabbi Moshe Arbel; Israel Fire and Rescue Services Commissioner Dedi Simchi; Commander of Jerusalem Region Captain Nissim Tuito; Chief Rabbi of Fire Services, Deputy Captain Rabbi Chaim Pearl; Hospital department heads in Israel; and the family of Yehoshua Rachamim who passed away this year and was a veteran member of the Western Wall staff.

Rabbi David Lau:

“We are standing here and lighting the seventh candle.  In Judaism, seven is a significant number that symbolizes the seven days of creation and world nature.  We see there’s room on the menorah for the eighth candle since in the Temple, everything was suitable for the Jewish nation that is above nature – eight days until the brit, eight days of Chanukah.  We have been privileged and the Blessed be He has done for us miracles and wonders that are supernatural.  Even now, as we cope with this difficult virus, we wish that the Blessed be He will perform a supernatural miracle and end the pandemic.  We wish that just as He did for our forefathers in those days, so He should do for us in this time.”

Foreign Minister Gaby Ashkenazi:

“We are lighting the seventh Chanukah candle at the foot of the Western Wall stones, the place where hundreds of prayers are sent per day – for health, for family, for finding a soulmate, and especially for unity, peace with our neighbors, and particularly among ourselves. We are at the cusp of a new era.  An era that we have not seen in the Middle East for a long time.  I believe wholeheartedly that this is just the beginning and that we will see additional countries joining the path of peace.  Lighting Chanukah candles at the foot of the Western Wall stones takes on additional meaning these days.  We customarily say that “together, we are a strong light.”  These words are especially significant when we all need national unity.  More than anything, Israel needs to cut the chain of factionalism and develop a vaccine against baseless hatred.  May it be that the light of unity will be a lit candle that is never extinguished and we will be a strong light.”

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz:

“We are here tonight standing in blessed rain lighting the Chanukah candles and happily greeting all those watching us from near and far in the corona ward, in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, and around the world.  This is also an opportunity to say thank you to Minister Gabi Ashkenazi who as Chief of the General Staff expressed the IDF’s deep connection to this holy site and made sure to bring every soldier in every position for a significant visit to the Western Wall in order to connect to our heritage.  On this day, we light fire, but there are those here with us who make sure all year that destructive fire does not harm people or property, and for that we offer our gratitude and appreciation.”

Commissioner Dedi Simchi:

“It is a huge privilege to be lighting Chanukah candles at this holy site, in the name of all those who are the column of fire that walks before the camp, with determination, strength, and devotion to the lofty mission of saving lives.  This year, we mark ten years since the terrible disaster in the Carmel in which 44 Israeli citizens lost their lives.  The Fire and Rescue Services changed since then, became stronger and prepared for any scenario so as not to need further miracles.  The Chanukah candles we light are evidence of the fighters’ personal courage and of the national strength of the network that has etched on its flag fighting fire and defending the welfare and safety of the public.”

 

Dec 15, 2020

Candle-lighting for Sixth Night of Chanukah at the Western Wall Plaza

Candle-lighting for Sixth Night of Chanukah at the Western Wall Plaza

The candle-lighting ceremony for the sixth night of Chanukah took place this evening (Tuesday) at the Western Wall Plaza in the presence of: Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz; Rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz; Rabbi of Be’er Sheva, Rabbi Yehuda Deri; Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mordechai (Suli) Eliav; Deputy-Director and head of Family and Commemoration Branch, Arieh Mualem; Chairperson of the Association of Widows and Orphans, Tami Shelach; Director of the organization, Yuval Lipkin; Director of Youth Department, Shlomi Nachumson; Uri Keidar, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Dolev Keidar z”l; Eliya Asulin, the daughter of Shlomi Asulin z”l; and Uri Plaksar, son of Erez Plaksar z”l.

Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz:

“As a Jew and an Israeli, it hurt me to see the Western Wall Plaza almost empty during the days of slichot, and it hurts me to think of the thousands that cannot come here during our holidays.  Some might see this as a sign of our weakness in the face of the virus.  I see it as a sign of our strength, of the supreme respect our nation has for life, of our ability to mobilize around a common goal – to take care of our loved ones.”

Rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz:

“Uri Keidar, Eliya Asulin, and Uri Plaksar – you are our guests of honor today.  The Jewish nation sends you strength today and every day.  One must take the light that is lit here at the Western Wall Plaza and spread it around the world.  This is a chance to thank you, Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister, for the government’s decision to strengthen the development of the Western Wall Plaza and bring soldiers and students here even during this difficult time.  We all hope that we not only see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that we see a great light in the heart of the Jewish nation and that we can return and be here at the Western Wall Plaza together – people from all over the world.”

Rabbi of Be’er Sheva, Rabbi Yehuda Deri:

“We are privileged to be lighting candles on Erev Rosh Chodesh Tevet so close to the site of the miracle in the Temple.  This is the place the entire world looks toward.  This place is the pride of Israel.  It is the heart of the entire Jewish nation in the world, and we must be united around it and spread light from it.”

Chairperson of the Association of IDF Widows and Orphans, Tami Shelach:

“A bit of light dispels a lot of the darkness.  It is customary to mention this on Chanukah.  And I add that the light and hope emanating from the widows and orphans who draw strength and continue to grow and to love, illuminates all of us and gives us tremendous strength.  I pray that we know only good days full of light.”

Dec 14, 2020

Festive and special candle-lighting ceremony in the Western Wall Tunnels with the United States’ National Security Council delegation

Festive and special candle-lighting ceremony in the Western Wall Tunnels with the United States’ National Security Council delegation

A festive and special candle-lighting ceremony took place this evening (Sunday) in the Western Wall Tunnels with the delegation of the United States National Security Council.

 

The ceremony took place in the presence of: Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman, rabbi of Migdal Haemek; Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites; Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation; Ambassador David Friedman, U.S. ambassador to Israel; Robert O’Brien, United States National Security advisor; Mr. Robert Greenway, deputy assistant to the President of the United States; Brig. Gen. Miguel Correa, assistant to the President; and Meir Ben Shabbat, Israel’s National Security Advisor. They were all taken on a tour of the new excavations in the Western Wall Tunnels where they encountered Jerusalem’s glorious past and the deep connection between the Jewish nation and its capital.

 

Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz greeted the U.S. delegation and said,

“Members of the delegation, Mr. Ambassador, I wish to take advantage of this opportunity to thank you and United States President Donald Trump, whom you represent, in the name of the entire Jewish nation, for the great light you have brought to this country and to the entire world over the past four years. It is a light of historic justice and of simple truth that believes in the power of good and in the obligation placed upon each and every one of us to do everything so that good defeats evil and light defeats darkness. The story goes that President Lincoln once said, ‘Sir, my concern is not whether G-d is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on G-d’s side, for G-d is always right.’ May we always be on G-d’s side and be loyal emissaries to spread the light and the goodness from the Land of Israel around the entire world.”

 

Robert O’Brien, United States National Security director said,

“I’ve had the opportunity to come back as a tourist and as a government official many times, and every time you come here you feel a very special spirit…For our family, Jerusalem is a very wonderful, special, meaningful place. And to be here on Chanukah, and to be here at a time that peace is breaking out… with Morocco, Bahrain and the Emirates…These are things we didn’t think we’d hear in our lifetime…I bring you greetings and blessings from President Trump, Vice President Pence…and the many friends that you have in the United States. And the next time we’re having a Passover seder… and we hear ‘Next year in Jerusalem,’ this is the place I’ll think of, this spot right here.”

 

U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. David Friedman said,

“This is not the first time I’ve been here and it’s not the second, but it never gets old. I’ve been here with the President of the United States, the Vice President…I’m sure I’m missing half the cabinet. We love Jerusalem. And we don’t just say it. You can see it in our actions. And it’s not just recognizing Jerusalem and moving the embassy, but when anyone has a moment, you see they come to Jerusalem. You’ll see in the next month, more and more people coming to Jerusalem. The heart of Jerusalem is the heart of the United States. We’re together in this. It’s something we’re joined in. The values that come from Jerusalem are the same values that formed the United States and motivate the State of Israel. We’re brothers and sisters, and we’ll keep coming here as long as you’ll have us.”

Dec 14, 2020

A delegation from the United Arab Emirates and from Bahrain participated in the candle-lighting ceremony for the 5th night of Chanukah at the Western Wall Plaza

A delegation from the United Arab Emirates and from Bahrain participated in the candle-lighting ceremony for the 5th night of Chanukah at the Western Wall Plaza

  This evening (Monday), the 5th night of Chanukah, the candle-lighting ceremony took place in the presence of: Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, the Rishon Lezion and rabbi of Jerusalem; Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites; Health Minister Yuli Edelstein; Mr. Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation; Rabbi Eliezer Rauchberger, deputy mayor of Jerusalem; Mr. Faras Atilla, incoming head of the Civil Adminstration; Eran Kurtzer, vice-commander paratroopers brigade; Eli Cohen, chairperson of the 55th Brigade Association; Yosef Hagouel, a veteran soldier from the unit that liberated Jerusalem; and the Ronen Family, the family of Yoram Ronen Shovek and a delegation from the UAE and Bahrain.   Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar said:

“This candle-lighting unites the entire Jewish nation.  Look carefully at the flames.  Despite its various hues and colors – it is one flame that rises and illuminates and ignites.  The Jewish nation is made of tribes and different communities and this is our glory.  We cannot be separated even by the width of a hair.  We can disagree with each other and think different thoughts and even take different and various actions, but remain brothers.  Brothers that have never been separated and will never separate.”

  Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz said:

“Tonight we are particularly excited to be hosting you here – representatives of the Israeli health system.  Our rabbis taught us that there are many forms of bravery.  The bravery of the military Maccabees, the bravery of those who preserved the Torah in secret, the bravery of the mothers and the daughters… We have been privileged to see your bravery with our own eyes.  The bravery in the Emergency Room and the other wards.  The bravery of long shifts and endless concern.  You, in the frontlines of this battle, are teaching us every day about bravery.  About moral strength.  In the name of the entire Jewish nation, I want to thank you and bless you and send you strength.  A bit of light can banish great darkness.  And your light – the light of being on a mission, the light of the love of Israel, the light of devotion – illuminates us all.  Who would have believed that peace would come to our house in such a magnificent way?  It is a miracle of Chanukah to see the delegation from the UAE and Bahrain here with us participating in the Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony.”

  Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said:

“I was not given the honor of lighting the 5th candle of Chanukah.  Standing with me at that moment were tens of thousands of people who do not usually get photographed, and during this past year, they did not have one free moment.  I am referring to the doctors, nurses, aides, and all those who fight the coronavirus day and night. Like ‘in those days at this time’, we did not depend only on miracles.  Many worked days and nights to bring this miracle sooner.  From here, I want to thank them in your name as well. They believed that the Jewish nation could be saved from this plague and they succeeded, with G-d’s help.  We hope that from these Chanukah lights, one big light will emanate to the entire Jewish people.  We send our blessings from here to all those who are ill with the coronavirus, to my friend David ben Margalit – MK David Bitan, may he quickly return to health and to the Jewish nation.”

  Rabbi Eliezer Rauchberger, deputy mayor of Jerusalem, said:

“They planned to uproot the Torah from the Jewish nation so the opposite is devotion to the Torah.  Chanukah and lighting Chanukah candles are the continuation of tradition.  The Jewish nation cannot exist in the Land of Israel or in the world or in this city without the continuation of tradition.  We, in the Jerusalem municipality, do all we can to spread the light. ‘These candles that we light for the miracles and the wonders’ that Jerusalem will be a light and a symbol for the entire Jewish people.”

  Eran Kurtzer said:

“In the name of the 55th Brigade, the liberators of Jerusalem, paratroopers and IDF soldiers – Happy Chanukah to all, blessings and thanks for this respectable event.”

  Avshalom Chaviv (named for Avshalom Chaviv, an Etzel fighter who was hung in the Acre prison) said:

“The 55th Brigade was founded toward the end of 1966.  Its first commander was Motte Gur and he also commanded the brigade during the Six Day War in the battles to liberate the Old City of Jerusalem.  We gathered here this evening despite the coronavirus, soldiers and commanders of the 55th Brigade, liberators of Jerusalem, crossers of the canal, and climbers of the __________, to light the candles for the 5th night of Chanukah at the Western Wall, near the site where the national flag was raised at the end of the battles of 1967.”

Dec 10, 2020

First Night of Chanukah candle-lighting at the Western Wall Plaza amid the coronavirus

First Night of Chanukah candle-lighting at the Western Wall Plaza amid the coronavirus

This evening (Thursday), the candle for the first night of Chanukah was lit at Wilson’s Arch in the Western Wall Tunnels in the presence of: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman; Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz; Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mordechai (Suli) Eliav.

Earlier this evening, the traditional candle-lighting took place at the Western Wall Plaza in the presence of: The Rishon Lezion and Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef; Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz; Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Rabbi Rafi Peretz. The format was limited with arrival and stay at the Western Wall Plaza during the lighting taking place in accordance with Health Ministry regulations.

The Rishon Lezion and Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef: “

Calendar