Letters to God cleared from Western Wall as Rosh Hashanah approaches
Letters are prayers from Jews and non-Jews: Wall is place of prayer for everyone, says chief rabbi of the Western Wall.
Jerusalem's Western Wall on Sunday was cleared of notes sent to God by worshippers, making room for new pleads-on-paper to be put into the cracks of the ancient stones.
Millions of people a year visit the Western Wall and leave written prayers on pieces of paper which they wedge into the cracks of the wall.
Shmuel Rabinowitz, chief Rabbi of the Western Wall, says it is important to make sure there's always room for future notes.
"As you can see there are millions of letters that are wedged inside the Western Wall. These letters are prayers from Jews and non-Jews, this is a holy place, a place of prayer for everyone," Rabinowitz told Reuters Television.
The contents of the letter are never read or fully counted by those who collect them, he says, but estimate that in each collection there are enough to fill about 100 shopping bags, each with thousands of notes.
The notes are later buried in Jerusalem's Mount of Olives, he said.
"We are taking out these letters from the Western Wall so that people can be able to make new ones. We protect the privacy of these letters, and we bury them in the ground," Rabinowitz said.