prayer at the Southern Wall
prayer at the Southern Wall Emanuel Maimon

The Jerusalem District Police has authorized the Organization of Community Rabbis to hold holiday prayers on Wednesday at the Southern Wall.

Initially, the police asked the organizers of the solemn prayer to hold them in a nearby and smaller plaza, which can accommodate about 150 worshipers instead of the approximately 2,700 worshipers who come to the prayer each year.

After deliberations and a tour of the area together with the organizers, the police agreed to hold the prayer in the regular and larger format at the Davidson Plaza. Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon is also expected to attend the prayer service tomorrow.

Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who leads the annual prayer, said earlier today: "Twice a year, thousands of worshipers pray at the southern wall during the holidays, a morning prayer with musical instruments. This year, too, a few weeks ago we received permission to pray for 2,700 people on Wednesday of chol hamoed."

"Today we were informed by the senior police command that we are not allowed to pray there unless we build a cage within a day 9 meters high and 30 meters long. A cage that will protect us from fireworks and stones that the Arabs will probably throw from the Temple Mount. It seems that the government has not internalized that Jerusalem was liberated and allows the rioters to run the capital of Israel."

"We do not know what the government's agreements were with the Shura Council, but we do not agree to pray in cages. We think it is the role of the police to allow Jews to pray near the Western and Southern Wall without any cage.

"The role of the police is to stop and imprison, instead of releasing rioters who throw or want to throw stones and fire fireworks at Jewish worshipers," added Rabbi Eliyahu.