The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, visited the Western Wall – or Kotel – Sunday along with a large Jewish delegation that accompanied him from New York.
De Blasio did not wait for the group tour to visit the Kotel and say a personal prayer, however. He did so alone, on Saturday night. Eyewitnesses described a long and apparently emotional prayer session in front of the huge ancient stones.
He also inserted a note into one of the crevices between the rocks.
The tour on Sunday morning, by contrast, was described as the formal visit to the Kotel by the mayor's delegation, intended to express his friendship with the Jewish people and its heritage, at the nation's spiritual center.
De Blasio and the entourage then passed through the Kotel Tunnel and were guided to recent archaeological finds as well, where they learned about the history of the Temple Mount.
The mayor ended the visit by signing the Kotel's guestbook, in which he wrote, "It is a great honor for me to be in this sacred place. This is where we are reminded of the power of faith."