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Kotel Undergoes 'Pesach Cleaning'

The Kotel was 'cleaned out' of notes that have been stuffed into it all year long, using a special device

Yaakov Levi,

Removing the notes
Removing the notes
Kotel spokesman

As elsewhere in Israel, the people responsible for the Kotel (Western Wall) are getting ready for Passover by doing a general cleaning – in their case, of the notes that have been stuffed into the cracks of the Kotel by the millions who visit it every year.

In a custom that has become universal – with non-Jews, as well as Jews, writing out prayers that are “left” in the wall for G-d to address – the wall is filled with notes of all sizes and shapes, all containing pleas for good health, happy families, and myriad other needs. According to Jewish tradition, a prayer rendered at the Kotel – the wall outside the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount – has a special power.

To make way for the new notes, the management of the Kotel – which is headed by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Kotel and the Holy Places in Israel – removes the notes every year before Passover. The notes are then taken to a special site in the Mount of Olives cemetery, where they are stored.

The notes were removed Sunday wth a special device that is capable of picking up the small notes that are stuffed into the crevices of the Kotel.