Dear Friends

With Passover just a few days away, and the frenzy of preparation at its peak, we hope you will take a few minutes to pause and enjoy the interesting articles we have prepared for you in this month's newsletter from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

Do you know who started the tradition of the mass Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Benediction) at the Kotel on the Intermediate Days of Pesach and Succot?  Do you know what the Pilgrims' Seder was like?  Where did the Pilgrims stay on their long treks up to Jerusalem?  What is the origin of the song Dayenu that we sing at the Seder?  Read all this and more in the Western Wall Heritage this month. Read more...



Twice a year, on Passover and Succot, massive numbers of Kohanim (priests, descendants of those that served in the Temple) come to the Western Wall Plaza for Birkat Kohanim, to bless the Jewish people in one voice.  When and why did this custom begin?  What is Id-el-Gefner? Read more about the ceremony of the Birkat Kohanim at the Kotel.



Visits from thousands of seventh graders from over 20 locations around Israel, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration for victims of terror, and another for new immigrant children, a visit from ministers of education from around the world - all this and more happened this month at the Kotel.  Read more...



Every year during the Seder on Passover eve, we sing the song "Dayenu" enumerating all the blessings the Almighty has bestowed upon us.  Did you know that this song dates back from the era of the Temple?  Read more...



During all the years the Temple stood, three times a year, thousands upon thousands of pilgrims, "olim laregel",  would journey to Jerusalem from all over Israel and from the Diaspora as well.  How did they get there? Where did they stay in Jerusalem?  What was the Seder on Passover eve like in those days?  Read more...



Do you have a Bar Mitzvah coming up in your family?  What could be better than to mark this momentous occasion at the Western Wall?  The Western Wall Heritage Foundation's Bar Mitzvah Center will help you prepare for the Bar Mitzvah, will give you advice on the best way to plan the event, and will accompany you during your celebration with guidance and assistance.  All for free.  To read more...



Many Jewish objects have been decorated with the pattern of the Kotel to symbolize the yearning and longing of their owners to Jerusalem and the Temple.  This month, we want to share with you a beautiful "gaviya", wine goblet, specifically used for the Seder on Passover.  Read more... 



Many Jews waited longingly and breathlessly for the liberation of the Western Wall from Jordanian hands, but only a few of them felt the ache of this longing as a real physical pain like Rabbi Aryeh Levine did.  Who was this Rabbi, known as the "Tzaddik of Jerusalem", and how did he get to the Wall immediately after its liberation in 1967?  Read more...



Have your students ever wondered how the Western Wall was built?  After all, the technology we have today wasn’t available 2,000 years ago.  How were the huge stones quarried and brought to the construction site?  We have developed animations that beautifully illustrate the different methods used.  Take a look... 



Before you continue with your preparations for Pesach, sit down with your family and watch this beautiful, short film.  It will move and inspire you as you set out to celebrate our becoming a nation.  It will magnificently remind you why Jews, wherever they reside, continue to give voice to the age-old prayer, "Next Year in Jerusalem".
Watch film...




         
In 1988, the government of Israel established the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. The Foundation's objectives are to convey to all segments of the Jewish people the spirit and the heritage of the Western Wall and Jerusalem, to preserve and develop the Western Wall and Tunnels complex, and to develop educational frameworks that link Jews everywhere to our eternal chain of generations.


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