Workers cleared the Western Wall of thousands of notes Wednesday afternoon ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Led by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Western Wall’s rabbi, the crew painstakingly dug the scraps of paper from the Wall’s crevices before burying the notes in a ceremony.

The notes contain prayers addressed to God from Israelis, visitors, and worshipers worldwide who send their requests from abroad.

The wall is cleaned twice a year, before the holidays of Passover and Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, in order to make room for new prayers.

The Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site, and it is a tradition to write down prayers and/or personal requests and place them in the cracks of the nearly 2,000 year old Wall.