A record number of people – 1.5 million visitors – came to the Western Wall during the Hebrew month of Tishrei, according to figures from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Israel Police.
The rabbi of the Kotel (Western Wall), Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz, commented that “these figures are evidence that the Western Wall is the spiritual home for Jews from all around the world, regardless of their background.”
The Western Wall is the last standing remnant of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and became a place of Jewish prayer following the Roman destruction in 70 CE. The area was badly damaged while occupied by Jordan, from 1948 to 1967, but was cleaned up and carefully renovated after it was restored to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.
It is customary for Jews to visit the Wall upon arriving in Israel for the first time, or as soon after arrival as possible. Visitors to the site, considered to be the holiest Jewish sitge on earth, traditionally include all heads of state who come to the State of Israel.
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