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Western Wall stays shut to most, but notes can still be sent

Jewish Agency begins campaign to collect prayers from those around the world unable to visit the Jerusalem holy site due to the pandemic

Capsules for up to 20 women to worship, a measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus, at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, sit empty on Sept. 18, 2020, on the first day of a nationwide three-week lockdown in reaction to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Capsules for up to 20 women to worship, a measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus, at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, sit empty on Sept. 18, 2020, on the first day of a nationwide three-week lockdown in reaction to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

JTA — A visit to Israel and the Western Wall before Yom Kippur is pretty much out of the question due to coronavirus restrictions, but Jews can still have their prayers placed between the stones of the holy site.

The Jewish Agency for Israel has started a campaign to collect the prayers and messages from Jews in Israel and around the world and pledged to place them in the Kotel.

Israel’s borders have been closed to most non-citizens since early in the pandemic. The country entered a national lockdown last week hours before the start of Rosh Hashanah.

“Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Western Wall and its plaza are normally packed with visitors. This year, due to restrictions, it’s not possible to come to Jerusalem and place notes with our prayers between the stones of the Western Wall, the holiest place for the Jewish people,” Isaac Herzog, the Jewish Agency’s chairman, said in a statement. “As an organization whose mission it is to strengthen global Jewry and its relationship with Israel, we thought it would be fitting to facilitate this important act for so many this high holiday season.”

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