General Information

Aug 25, 2020

Slichot at the Western Wall Plaza in the shadow of the coronavirus

Over the last several days, thousands of people have been coming to the Western Wall, in the shadow of the coronavirus and in accordance with Health Ministry regulations, to recite slichot (penitential prayers) at midnight and in the early-morning hours as is customary among Jews of Edot HaMizrach.

During ordinary days of the month of Elul, the Western Wall Plaza fills to capacity with worshippers from around Israel and the world who recite slichot and prayers en masse and cry out together: “Lord of forgiveness…We have sinned before You. Have mercy upon us.”

 

 



Every year, there is a rise in the number of worshippers at the Western Wall during the High Holidays. This year, however, in the shadow of the coronavirus, the plaza will be able to hold about 2,000 people in capsules of 30, in accordance with Health Ministry directives.

Please note that entrance will not be allowed if the Western Wall Plaza is full. The public should be aware of this in advance. We recommend coming to the Western Wall in the upcoming days and not wait until the days right before Rosh Hashana or between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur when large crowds of people are anticipated, some of whom will unfortunately be prevented from entering the Western Wall Plaza.

The next two weeks will act as a measure for managing slichot services in peak times. The schedule of the central events as well as the live broadcasts will be published soon.

The sight of thousands of people streaming to the Western Wall Plaza at night during this special week is an unforgettable experience. The power of the connection between the Jewish nation and the Western Wall becomes particularly apparent during these special days in which people need prayers for healing and are doing the soul-searching and introspection customary at this time of year.

Slichot services begin every night at 12:30 at the central event led by a cantor in order to allow for all the worshippers social distancing in the capsules to pray together as one nation with one heart.