31/08/2020 Preparation for Slichot (Penitential) Prayers at the Western Wall Plaza –Every year, tens of thousands of worshippers visit the Western Wall during the month of Elul for the traditional slichot prayers, especially for the central slichot events on Erev Rosh Hashana, Aseret Yemei Teshuva (the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur), and Erev Yom Kippur. But this year, due to the restrictions, the prayers at the Western Wall will be limited to 2,500 people only. Slichot Broadcast In order to abide by the required directives and preserve public health, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation decided that entrance during these dates will be with entrance permits chosen by lottery in accordance with regulations, thus preventing unnecessary grief among the many worshippers interested in coming to the Western Wall for slichot who would be disappointed not to be allowed in due to Health Ministry restrictions.Slichot times when entrance will only be allowed with entrance permits:From Thursday night, 21 Elul until (including) Erev Rosh Hashana, 29 Elul (September 10 – 18, 2020), and from Motza’ei Rosh Hashana, 2 Tishrei until (including) Erev Yom Kippur, 9 Tishrei (September 20 – 26, 2020)A total of 13 days of slichot Click here to register Entrance permits for the Western Wall will be for 11pm until 1:30am. Please note that for the rest of the hours of the day, the Western Wall will be open based on availability, as it has been until now. Registration for the lottery will open to the public on the Western Wall Heritage Foundation website at http://www.thekotel.org beginning on today- Thursday (September 3rd) until Sunday (September 6th) at midnight. It will be done by entering complete details including ID or passport numbers. •Anyone can register for any of the above slichot days and can register up to ten people under one name as long as all their relevant information is entered as well. •Each person will have the possibility to win one entrance only for one of the slichot nights.•The lottery will take place on September 7th under the supervision of The Western Wall Heritage Foundation’s lawyer and accountant. The list of people who will receive entrance permits will be publicized on the Foundation’s website. Likewise, announcements will be sent to the winners on Wednesday, September 9th. •Entrance to the Western Wall Plaza will be conditioned on scanning the digital entrance permits along with presentation of each worshipper’s ID card or passport. Children under 7 who appear on the ID card appendix do not require a permit.The Western Wall Heritage Foundation notes that on these days there will be live broadcasts from the Western Wall on the Western Wall website. Whoever cannot physically come to the Western Wall will be able to watch and participate from home. During ordinary days of the month of Elul, the Western Wall Plaza fills to capacity with worshippers from around Israel and the world who recite slichot and prayers en masse and cry out together: “Lord of forgiveness…We have sinned before You. Have mercy upon us.”Every year, there is a rise in the number of worshippers at the Western Wall during the High Holidays. This year, however, in the shadow of the coronavirus, the plaza will be able to hold about 2,000 people in capsules of 30, in accordance with Health Ministry directives. Please note that entrance will not be allowed if the Western Wall Plaza is full. The public should be aware of this in advance. We recommend coming to the Western Wall in the upcoming days and not wait until the days right before Rosh Hashana or between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur when large crowds of people are anticipated, some of whom will unfortunately be prevented from entering the Western Wall Plaza. The next two weeks will act as a measure for managing slichot services in peak times. The schedule of the central events as well as the live broadcasts will be published soon.The sight of thousands of people streaming to the Western Wall Plaza at night during this special week is an unforgettable experience. The power of the connection between the Jewish nation and the Western Wall becomes particularly apparent during these special days in which people need prayers for healing and are doing the soul-searching and introspection customary at this time of year. Slichot services begin every night at 12:30 at the central event led by a cantor in order to allow for all the worshippers social distancing in the capsules to pray together as one nation with one heart.