Over One Million Visit Kotel Over Holidays

Huge crowds visit Jewish holy site in ten days between Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur.

Haim Lev and Tova Dvorin ,

Slichot at the Western Wall.
Slichot at the Western Wall.

More than a million people visited the Western Wall to ask for Divine mercy and forgiveness during the ten-day High Holiday period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it was announced Sunday.

At its peak, over 100,000 people - from across Israel and around the globe - attended the holy site in one night alone: during selichot prayers on Yom Kippur Eve.

The central selichot prayer was attended by both Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau. 

An additional assembly started by Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef zt"l includes a mass prayer rally for selichot at the Wall, followed by a ceremony to annul "evil decrees" for the upcoming year. The ceremony attracted at least 100,000 people as well. 

The large turnout is significant for Israel, which has suffered a fall in tourism following the Gaza war in July and August.

The Israeli economy emerged relatively unscathed, however, and tourism figures look likely to bounce back. Israel has seen a record number of travelers to the Jewish state for the holidays, with an estimated 1.4 million people due to visit between Rosh Hashanah and the holiday of Sukkot.