31/08/2020 Delegation led by Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, visits the Western WallA delegation led by Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump; Robert O’Brien, United States National Security Advisor; Avi Berkowitz, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations; Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, and other senior American diplomats came to the Western Wall to pray prior to traveling to the United Arab Emirates.The delegation was greeted by Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, who explained how the Western Wall has been functioning in the shadow of the coronavirus, and how the Western Wall serves as a model for maintaining the routine of prayer and visits while abiding by directives. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall, sent a special letter with Mr. Kushner to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with blessings from Jerusalem for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation director showed the delegation fascinating findings discovered in archaeological excavations in the Western Wall Tunnels. He also joined them in prayer, prior to the historic flight, for the success of peace with the UAE, for the health of those stricken by the coronavirus in Israel, the United States, and around the world, and with the approach of the Jewish New Year, they prayed for a year of health and blessings for all. 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.