Daily Israel Report

New at Kotel for Pesach: Mobility Scooter

Old City to be closed off to private vehicles during Passover. Birkat Kohanim scheduled for Thursday, 21.4.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/14/2011, 10:15 PM / Last Update: 4/15/2011, 2:14 AM

Israel news photo

At the Kotel Plaza, preparations are underway for taking in multitudes during the Pesach holiday.

This year, the Kotel Heritage Fund has decided to place an electric mobility scooter next to the bus station, to make it easier for the elderly and disabled to reach the Plaza.
 
Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich reached an agreement with the Israel Police that will make it easier for Jews whose permanent home is in the Diaspora to visit the Kotel without running into religious problems. The problem arises on the Second Yom Tov (Sabbath-like holiday) that Diaspora Jews observe after the first and last days of Pesach. During Chol Hamoed and Isru Chag, the entrance gates do not operate in Sabbath mode, and security checks include electronic devices, thus causing a problem for the Diaspora Jews.
 
According to the arrangement, people who mark the the second Yom Tov of Pesach will have the right to request a manual security check.
 
The Old City will be closed off to private vehicles during the holiday and visitors to the Kotel are asked to use public transport. 
 
The traditional mass Priestly blessing, or Birkat Kohanim, is scheduled for Thursday, the second day of Chol Hamoed, April 21. Shacharit prayer will be at 8:45, Birkat Kohanim at 9:30, Musaf at 10:00 and Birkat Kohanim of Musaf at 10:15.
 
The Chief Rabbis, Rav Yonah Metzger and Rav Shlomo Amar, will then hold a reception for the pilgrims.