The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is working in accordance with the directives of the Ministry of Health in the wake of the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus. The Western Wall Plaza stretches over a large area and currently no more than 5,000 people are on it at a time.Last night, Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman announced that the Western Wall Plaza is open and that there is no concern about coming to the Western Wall.For the Western Wall Tunnels sites, entrance is in small groups spaced 15-20 minutes apart, so the tours are continuing as usual. Groups that reserved in advance and are coming from countries for which the Ministry of Health has requested quarantine will get a full refund for their tickets.The Western Wall Heritage Foundation has taken upon itself to be extra cautious regarding the health of worshippers and visitors and has added hand-sanitizing stations at the exits of the restrooms as well as at the entrances of the tourist sites.Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz Rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, said "Actually in this time of distress there is nothing more appropriate than coming to pray at the Western Wall and asking the Creator of the Universe, the Healer of all men, to remove all illness from the inhabitants of this land and the entire world."
In a meeting with the Western Wall rabbi, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, and the director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mr. Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, they asked to emphasize the importance of having their son's body returned from Gaza.
Max, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor, hadn't been to the Kotel in 8 years. This morning (Feb 23rd), he came with his wife Esther under the auspices of a project of the Israel Police for the community in conjunction with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. They took part in a moving prayer service, a tour of the Tunnels, a meeting with the Rabbi of the Western Wall, and a visit to the virtual reality experience A Look into the Past.
The Mayor of Bialystok, Poland visited the Western Wall along with the Mayor of Yehud, Mrs. Ye'ela Macklis.The Mayor of Bialystok noted that he came to see the Jewish nation's ancient history, and committed to remember and mention the Jewish nation's glorious history in Bialystok.
The Israel Fire and Rescue Authority came to the Western Wall this morning with regional commanders, branch directors, and Commissioner Dedi Simchi to pray and tour the Western Wall Tunnels. They were greeted by the Rabbi of the Western Wall whom they thanked for the tradition which began three years ago of lighting the Chanukah menorah at the Western Wall Plaza with the Fire and Rescue Authority.
In a special prayer service held at the Western Wall, many prayed for the entire world, and China in particular, to overcome the spread of the Corona virus, and for a speedy recovery to all those who are ill.The Rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, said: The Western Wall is a prayer site for Jews and non-Jews. We pray that China will overcome the Corona virus and that it will not spread in China or elsewhere around the world.
The terrorist attack caught the Golani soldiers on a tour of Jerusalem before their swearing-in ceremony.
Despite the attack, the soldiers and commanders decided to come to the Western Wall, hold the swearing-in ceremony, and pray together for the recovery of their wounded friends. We, along with the entire Jewish nation, join their prayers and wish a speedy recovery to all the wounded.
The President of France is visiting the Western Wall for the first time as part of the visits of heads of state to Jerusalem. "I feel the holiness and the history here", said French President Emanuel Macron this evening during his first visit at the Western Wall Plaza.
Heads of state have begun visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem today (Wednesday). Among the leaders are: President Emanuel Macron of France, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson of Iceland, President Željko Komšić of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and President Salome Zourabichvili of Georgia who all had a personal prayer by the stones of the Western Wall. These visits are due to the arrival of delegations for the World Holocaust Forum taking place at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem tomorrow to mark 75 years since the liberation Auschwitz–Birkenau.
The President of France was very moved by his visit. The President stayed for quite a while and heard an explanation about the history of the place from the Director of the Western Wall Mordechai (Suli) Eliav and met with lone soldiers from France, and said a personal prayer at the Western Wall. Then, he visited the new excavations at the Western Wall Plaza where he expressed interest over the new findings, and in the number of visitors to the Western Wall per year.
The Rabbi of the Western Wall thanked the President of France for his visit to the Western Wall noting that it conveyed appreciation for the Jewish nation's history and heritage, of which France is a part. He explained the power of the site for every Jew around the world, offering the example of every synagogue in France facing Jerusalem and the Western Wall when praying.
For your information, there will be state visits at the Western Wall Plaza this Wednesday and Thursday, January 22-23 (25-26 Tevet). The Western Wall will remain open to worshippers and visitors. Please pay attention to signs and follow the ushers' instructions.