At the Western Wall, 2,000 people pray - in capsules of 30

This is what the traditional Selichot prayers at the Western Wall look like during the coronavirus pandemic.

Orly Harari ,

Selichot prayers - in capsules
Selichot prayers - in capsules
Western Wall Heritage Foundation

Thousands of Jews have begun visiting the Western Wall each day to say the Selichot (penitential prayers) at midnight and during the early morning hours, in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines.

In most years, the Western Wall is packed during this period, but due to the coronavirus restrictions, only approximately 2,000 people can visit at a time, praying in "capsules" of 30 in accordance with the Health Ministry guidelines.

If the Western Wall Plaza is full to capacity, additional people will not be allowed into the area. As a result, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation recommends that those who wish to visit do so now, and not wait for the days just prior to Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) or for the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

"The sight of thousands congregating in the Western Wall Plaza at night during this special week is an unforgettable experience," the Western Wall Heritage Foundation said. "The power of the connection between the Jewish People and the Western Wall comes out especially during these days, when people need to pray for healing and do soul-searching between themselves and their Creator."

Selichot prayers will be held every night at 12:30a.m. and led by a cantor, allowing everyone in the capsules to pray together, despite social distancing requirements.



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