Ahead of the upcoming Passover holiday and increased holy land tour visits and prayers at the Western Wall, the Israel Antiquities Authority injected a preservative into the ancient stones. The conservation work included using syringes similar to those being used by medical staff to inject a special non destructive agent into the wall to treat the ‘peel’, or outer layer, of several stones.
Each of the hundreds of stones in the wall has an ‘identity card’ and are monitored.
Every six months the Western wall undergoes a strict check subject to religious strictures established by the rabbi of the Western Wall and the check must conform to religious guidelines. Engineers and conservators conduct inspections to ensure visitors safety and health.
According to the director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, “Over 12 million people visit the Western Wall Plaza each year. Although this year, in the shadow of Covid-19, people are increasingly ‘visiting’ the Western Wall virtually , we are already preparing for the return of visitors to the Wall. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is making every endeavor to preserve the Wall’s ancient stones and ensure its stability for the safety of worshipers and visitors.”
The Western wall has a unique ecological environment that creates its own special life forms. Many birds nest in the walls and plants can be found between the stones such as thorny capers and golden henbanes to name a few. These natural ecosystems require regular support to ensure the stability of the area so that the wall will remain strong for another 2,000 plus years.