In line with the bi-annual custom, the kvitlach at the Kosel are being removed from between the stones ahead of Rosh Hashanah. They are also removed annually ahead of Pesach.
The Kosel Heritage Foundation is responsible for the work, which includes an inspection of each stone to ensure the integrity of the stones and surrounding cement to avoid any accidents chas v’sholom. That said, over the years, there have been cases of stones falling, B”H, only a few cases.
The kvitlach are removed without the use of metal tools, and then, they are collected, and they are buried together with Sifrei Kodesh in the Har HaZeisim genizah. Via the foundation’s website, it received 32,000 kvitlach since last Rosh Hashanah, to be placed in the wall for people worldwide, including Jews and non-Jews. There were over 1,500 kvitlach from inside Israel submitted through the website. not to mention the hundreds of thousands placed there in person each year.
To ensure the privacy of those who placed the kvitlach in the wall, the area is cordoned off until the kvitlach are all packed for burial. The sealed bags and the removal of the kvitlach is done under the responsibility of Kosel Rav, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz.
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(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)