Hundreds of thousands of worshippers and tourists are expected to visit the Western Wall Plaza during the upcoming High Holidays. To ensure their safety at the site of the ancient wall, the foundation that oversees the holy site on Tuesday held what it called a "routine examination" of the integrity of the Western Wall stones.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation conducts what it calls a "comprehensive and meticulous examination" of all the Western Wall stones twice a year, on the eve of Passover and on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. The examination is done manually, and a thorough maintenance of the Western Wall stones is carried out, according to the foundation. "This is to ensure the safety of the thousands of worshippers who visit the holy site throughout the year, especially during the Jewish holidays," the foundation said in a statement.
Tuesday's extensive examination assessed the stability of the Western Wall stones. A team of engineers examined the durability and level of maintenance of each and every stone, using an organized process that updates and documents each inspection, according to the foundation.
This inspection was carried out under the supervision of the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, alongside the Israel Antiquities Authority and engineers from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, in accordance with the established halachic guidelines, to ensure that it adheres to the tenets of Jewish law.
In July 2018, a large stone was dislodged from the Western Wall and fell onto the egalitarian prayer platform near Robinson's Arch, south of the main Western Wall Plaza. The stone did not cause any injuries, though it fell near a woman who was visiting the site.