On Tuesday, the Western Wall stones visited and touched by thousands of people from Israel and around the world all year round, were sanitized and cleaned in order to protect those who come to the Western Wall to pray.

With Passover approaching, the custom continues and this morning, the prayer notes tucked in between the stones in the past six months were removed using gloves and disposable wooden tools. The notes were collected in special bags and will be buried along with other sacred papers on the Mount of Olives.

Only since this past Rosh Hashana, over 18,000 prayer notes from around the world have been sent to the Western Wall through the Western Wall internet site.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, accompanied the note removal personally and prayed for the recovery of all those who have fallen ill – from among the Jewish nation and nations of the entire world.

“During these difficult days in which the plague is spreading around the world and threatening our lives, we collect prayers from around the world at the remnant of our destroyed Temple, prayers to the Creator of the Universe that He should send us a complete healing and good health and redeem us from this difficult virus that has attacked the world.”