Praying the 'Vatikin' Service at the Western Wall

From every corner the sounds of prayer and song rose in the wee hours Wednesday morning as Jews prayed the 'Vatikin' service at the Western Wall.
By Hana Levi Julian & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 9/29/2010, 3:54 PM / Last Update: 9/29/2010, 4:06 PM

Thousands rose early to pray the 'Vatikin' service in the wee hours of Wednesday at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City. 

The service is conducted each year at about 5:00 a.m., traditionally thirty minutes before sunrise, on the holiday of Hoshana Raba -- the seventh and final day of Sukkot, considered to be the final day of Divine Judgment.

From every corner, the sounds of prayer and song rose from dozens of groups gathered in various areas throughout the Western Wall plaza, each in accordance with its own traditions.