The Western Wall Heritage Foundation on Wednesday evening held a special ceremony during which Torah scrolls that have been worn down over the years were buried as per tradition.
The scrolls date back to different eras, some being estimated to be 150 years old. Some of the scrolls survived World War I and the Holocaust in Poland, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Hungary.
The scrolls served millions of worshipers and visitors at the Western Wall every year until they became worn down and unfit for use beyond repair.
The ceremony was attended by the Rabbi of the Jewish Quarter Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, Cheif Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, Rabbi of the Kotel and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, Romema Community Rabbi and President of the Jerusalem Central Burial Society Rabbi Binyamin Adler, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Jewish Heritage Meir Porush, and Religious Affairs Minister Michael Michaeli.
The event was musically accompanied by the singer Naftali Kempeh and the Neranana Choir. During the ceremony, the rabbis prayed for mercy on the people of Israel.
From the Western Wall, a procession continued to the burial ceremony on the Mount of Olives by the Jerusalem Central and General Burial Society at the special burial building built by the burial society to bury holy objects.
Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl stated at the ceremony: "We don't accompany the Torah, the Torah accompanies us anywhere we go, when we go to sleep and when we awake. The words of the Torah are our lives."
The Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, stated: "We have the privilege to honorably bury these scrolls in accordance with Jewish law and tradition. 19 Torah scrolls testify to decades of use and represent the Jewish communities in Israel and abroad as they are united in prayer at the Western Wall. We will continue to ensure that the Torah scrolls at the Western Wall will be acceptable to all traditions and under halachic supervision."