The Western Wall Heritage Foundation on Tuesday morning began removing the notes placed between the wall's cracks over the past six months, as part of the efforts to prepare the Kotel (Western Wall) for Pesach (Passover), .
Workers used gloves and disposable wooden utensils, collecting the notes in bags which will be buried together with holy books on the Mount of Olives.
Among the notes are thousands which were sent from locations all over the globe. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic just before Passover last year, over 71,000 notes have been sent via the Foundation's site from around the world, representing a 10% rise in comparison to the pre-pandemic number.
The top ten countries from which notes are sent are the US, England, Brazil, France, Canada, Germany, Spain, Lapland, Poland, Argentina, and Mexico.
Each year, Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz personally oversees the removal of the notes, and prays for those who sent them.
Meanwhile, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation is preparing for holiday prayer sessions, as well as for the traditional Priestly Blessing ceremony, which will be held this year in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines.
The ceremonies will be broadcast live and on the Western Wall website, for the benefit of those who are unable to attend in person.