Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Nissan 5765 - May 4, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Hundreds of Thousands Visited the Western Wall During Pesach

By Betzalel Kahn

Over half a million people visited the Kosel Maarovi during Pesach, reaching a peak with 40,000 participants at Bircas Kohanim.

The massive crowds at the Western Wall Plaza and in the access routes leading to it were secured by a large police force overseen firsthand by Interior Security Minister Gidon Ezra, Police Chief Moshe Karadi and Jerusalem District Commander Illan Franko.

The Western Wall Plaza has not seen such a large number of visitors for many years. Egged made concerted efforts to accommodate the heavy flow of visitors following requests by members of the advisory council for the chareidi sector. Many more made their way on foot.

The passageways in the Jewish Quarter were heavily congested and there were delays at the gateways due to security checks.

Unusual crowding was reported on Wednesday night when Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived unexpectedly around midnight, where he was received by the rov of the Kosel Maarovi, HaRav Shmuel Rabinovitz. Thousands of visitors, including roshei yeshivos and admorim, faced long delays due to the dignitary's unscheduled visit.

According to police Putin only made known his desire to visit the Western Wall, the Jewish people's holiest site, around 11:00 p.m. Israel Police and the GSS asked that the visit be kept very brief and that the President remain in his car and make do with an explanation by HaRav Rabinovitz, but Putin decided to leave his car and began to walk toward the wall, only agreeing to keep his distance after security officials pleaded with him.

Israel Police and Rav Rabinovitz' office apologized to the public for the long holdups and expressed appreciation for the understanding shown.

Due to the renovation work at Moghrabi Gate the ezras noshim was constricted, causing bottlenecks at the entrance. Following calls to Deputy Mayor Rabbi Uri Maklev during Chol Hamoed, HaRav Rabinovitz attended to the problem. There is now a large wooden ramp that takes visitors up the hill that collapsed this winter after a snow.


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