Mass "Shovavim" Prayer at Kotel

This year’s “Shovavim” period will once again climax with a mass "tikun" prayer at the Western Wall this Thursday night, February 19.

Baruch Gordon,

Rabbi Eliyahu Leon Levi
Rabbi Eliyahu Leon Levi
Eli Antebi

This year’s six-week “Shovavim” period will once again climax with a mass tikun [rectification] prayer at the Western Wall [Kotel] this Thursday night, February 19, beginning at 11 p.m. and lasting until dawn. The prayers are to be led by Elder Kabbalist Rabbi Eliyahu Leon Levi in the mens' section indoor tunnel, and a thousand people are expected to attend.

Crowds at a previous Shovavim prayer night at the Kotel led by Rabbi Leon Levi
Israel news Photo: Eli Antebi

“Shovavim” is a six-week period starting in mid-January considered by Kabbalists and Chassidic sects to be the most favorable time to atone for sexual transgression. This year, the tikun prayer will be broadcast live on the internet on the Kotel internet site, so people the world over can join along in the proceedings. To watch the all-night tikun prayers, click on the words "Wilson's Arch" on the top right of the Live WebCam screen.

The inspiring, emotionally stirring evening, includes prayers, singing, Torah discourses, and plenty of hot coffee and food. The powerful Tikun Hatzot [Midnight Prayer] lamentation over the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem is scheduled to begin at around 12:30 a.m. The Tikun HaYesod Yeshuot Eliahu, a selection of 13 Psalms which atones for sexual wrongdoing, will be recited at around 2:30 a.m. After a break to immerse in a pre-dawn mikvah [ritual bath], the Tikun HaYesod of the famed Iraqi sage the Ben Ish Chai will be recited at about 5:15 a.m. with the annual roar of deafening shouts and trumpet blasts, followed by a special petition for rain and morning prayers.

The Kabbalist Elder Rabbi Eliyahu Leon Levi at the Kotel
Israel news Photo: Eli Antebi

For people who have trouble with long Hebrew texts, Israel news blogger Tzvi Fishman has translated into English a Tikun HaYesod prayer by the Torah giant Rabbi Aharon Rota of blessed memory.

People who will be attending in person are requested to bring a towel and Tefillin (phylacteries). Special prayer books containing the tikun prayers will be available for sale at the Western Wall. For women, the newly renovated Women’s Section will be open in the inner rotunda where the gathering is to be held.

Click here for pictures and sample audio from a previous tikun prayer at the Kotel.