The Bar Mitzvahs at the Western Wall today, October 29th, are dedicated in honor (zechut) of Raymond Diwan's Bar Mitzvah
In memory of Kotel staff member, Yehoshua Rachamim (Rachamimi) z”l
On Motzaei Shabbat Bereishit, we parted with a heavy heart from the last of a generation of giants, among those who renewed prayers at the Western Wall after we were privileged to return to it, with G-d’s grace, after the Six Day War.
R’ Yehoshua Rachamim, z”l, who passed away at a good old age and with a good name, was among the veterans of preservers of the holiness at the Western Wall. He was a modest and shy man who worked devotedly on behalf of worshippers at the Western Wall ever since its liberation.
In my mind, I can see Yehoshua’s energetic walk when he would arrive each and every day for his shift. Even when he got on in years, he maintained that quick walk that reminded me of the walk of the Temple’s kohanim. Whoever saw R’ Yehoshua arranging the bimot, lighting Chanukah candles opposite the Holy of Holies, or cleaning the Western Wall Plaza – saw the true significance of the term “meshamesh bakodesh”, one who serves in holiness. He was constantly busy with the needs of the public and his heart was full of praise and gratitude to Hashem for the privilege of doing so at this sacred site.
Yehoshua was one of the first diggers of the Western Wall Tunnels in the days following the Six Day War. The Western Wall Plaza then was very different from the beautiful and inviting one we see today at the foot of the Wall. And the Kotel Tunnels – only a very few people even knew of their existence. The Rabbi of the Western Wall then, Rabbi Getz zz”l, recruited a small and devoted group of young people who served as ushers at the Western Wall Plaza by day, and at night, they removed tons of earth from under the ancient arches, revealing the Western Wall stones that were hidden from view for centuries. In the merit of the work of those young people, we are privileged today to have thousands visit the Western Wall Tunnels to pray opposite the Holy of Holies and connect with the Jewish chain of generations. One of those young people was Yehoshua z”l. He also became deeply connected with Rabbi Getz zz”l, and every night he would come to his house in the Jewish Quarter to accompany him to Tikkun Chatzot (midnight prayers) that he would hold opposite the Holy of Holies.
R’ Yehoshua was entirely dedicated to his work at the Kotel. When his wife, a”h, passed away, he took upon himself to keep shabbat at the Kotel. Even in his later years, when he was older and walking was more difficult, he continued coming every Shabbat from his home in the Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood to the Kotel. The regular worshippers of the Kotel began to refer to him fondly as The President of the Kotel. But R’ Yehoshua never thought highly of himself or looked for honor and respect. He was never arrogant or conceited. There was no greater privilege in his eyes than the one given to him to prepare the wicks for the Kotel’s large menorah.
R’ Yehoshua’s passing is another parting from the generation of giants who were privileged to see the Kotel in its destruction and its renewal, and were partners to the great wonder of the Jewish nation’s return to its sacred site.
In the name of all who work at the Kotel and of the millions of its worshippers and visitors, I thank you, R’ Yehoshua. You were blessed to be so privileged and you were blessed to merit so many others. May we all be comforted by the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
An ancient limestone-made weight, dating to the Iron age – the First Temple period, was discovered in an archaeological excavation conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in conjunction with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation beneath Wilson’s Arch.
. Adjacent to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The weight, corresponding to the known measurement unit of two shekalim, was retrieved during sifting of earthen fills by the City of David sifting project. The excavation is nearing its completion, unearthing fascinating discoveries soon to be included in the tour of the Western Wall Tunnels. Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation: “How exciting, in the month of Tishrei, whose symbol is the scales of justice, to find a souvenir from the First Temple period. Actually now, when coming to the Western Wall is so restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic, this finding strengthens the eternal connection between the Jewish nation, Jerusalem, and the Western Wall while offering us all encouragement.”According to Dr. Barak Monnickendam-Givon and Tehillah Lieberman, directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority: “The weight is dome-shaped with a flat base. On the top of the weight is an incised Egyptian symbol resembling a Greek gamma (γ), representing the abbreviated unit ‘shekel.’ Two incised lines indicate the double mass: two shekalim. One of the uses of the shekel weight system during the First Temple period was to collect an annual tax of half a shekel dedicated to the sacrifices and upkeep of the Temple. According to previous finds, the known weight of a single shekel is 11.5 grams, thus a double shekel should way 23 grams – exactly as this weight does. The accuracy of the weight attests to advanced technological skills as well as to the weight given to precise trade and commerce in ancient Jerusalem. Coins were not yet in use during this period, therefore accuracy of the weights played a significant role in business. Year-round and especially during the times of pilgrimage, the area at the foot of the Temple Mount was sure to be busy. Locals and pilgrims would have traded for sacrifices and offerings as well as for food, souvenirs and other commodities. A weight such as the one discovered would have been used to measure accurate amounts of products at the market.”
During previous archaeological excavations beneath Wilson’s Arch, directed by Dr, Joe Uziel, Tehillah Lieberman and Dr. Avi Solomon, several stone courses of the Western Wall were exposed, after being covered with earthen fills some 1800 years ago. The renewed excavation continues the previous discoveries of the preceding dig. “The unique finding from the First Temple Period, discovered in a context dating several centuries later, to the Roman period, indicates that the area of the Western Wall encapsulates various remains from a wide range of periods reflecting the centrality of the area for many centuries” added Dr. Monnickendam-Givon and Lieberman.Photographer: Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority
In light of the government’s decision to tighten the lockdown for the near future, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation will be broadcasting Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv prayer services daily and Chol Hamoed Sukkot. Following are the prayers times for the days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, the 11th to the 14th of Tishrei (September 29th to October 2nd):8:30 am – Shacharit morning prayers (shemoneh esreh 8:52 am)6:10 pm – Mincha afternoon prayers (shemoneh esreh 6:13 pm)6:50 pm – Maariv evening prayers (shemoneh esreh 6:56 pm)The prayers will be broadcast on the Western Wall Heritage Foundation’s website and Facebook page and on the designated phone number: 02-301-1133.Names for Mourner’s Kaddish can be sent through the website:
Or by WhatsApp: 052-307-7788 (Please note this number is not open to calls.)Note only the name of the deceased and his/her father’s name.
Kaddish will be recited for the deceased until and including Wednesday. If there is a need to continue saying kaddish for the deceased after Wednesday, please reregister. “Avinu Malkeinu, Our Father our King, withhold the plague from Your inheritance.”
The Bar Mitzvah's in the Western wall September 17th are dedicatedto the honor (zechut) of Raymond Diwan's Bar mitzvah
The Western Wall Plaza is home to some of the most interesting historical tourist sites in the world, which offer a unique perspective on the genealogy of the Jewish people and the history of Jerusalem. We invite you to visit the sites and enjoy an empowering and unforgettable experience.
The Western Wall Plaza hosts approximately 60,000 people. It symbolizes the Jewish link to Jerusalem and serves as the synagogue closest to the remains of both Holy Temples.
The Western Wall's visible stones tell of its history from the time of the Holy Temples' ruin. The original Herodian stones are distinct from the others in size and in their unique borders.
The building style of "grading" used when layering the Western Wall's stones, teaches us that the Temple Mount's walls were not perpendicular but marginally sloping.
Western Wall, Jerusalem