IN PHOTOS

Western Wall Emptied of Sins and Wishes in pre-Passover Spring Cleaning

Twice a year, the Rabbi of the Western Wall oversees the cleaning of the notes and burial on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives

A man uses a stick to clear notes placed in the cracks of the Western Wall to create space for new notes ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover, in Jerusalem's Old City, March 20, 2018.
\ AMMAR AWAD/ REUTERS

Even God's mailbox needs a spring cleaning. 

Equipped with long sticks, a team of cleaners on Tuesday gouged out written prayers that visitors to Judaism's Western Wall in Jerusalem traditionally cram into its crevices.

Twice a year, the Rabbi of the Western Wall oversees the collection of thousands of notes to ensure there's always room for more. The papers are then buried on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives in accordance with ritual. 

The Western Wall is a remnant of the compound of the Second Temple that was destroyed in 70 AD. It stands today beneath a religious plaza known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount