Israel to let armchair travellers leave digital notes on the Western Wall

Helen Coffey
·2-min read
The Western Wall (Israel Tourist Office )
The Western Wall (Israel Tourist Office )

Israel is letting thwarted tourists leave digital notes on its famed Western Wall.

Traditionally, visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City could write a prayer on a piece of paper and squeeze it between the cracks in the wall; legend has it the message is then taken directly to God.

But with travellers the world over hemmed in by restrictions during the pandemic, the country’s tourist board has had to get creative in order to allow access to this unique experience.

Wannabe tourists now have the opportunity to write a digital prayer or wish via a dedicated website, with the promise that all messages will be printed out and left in the Western Wall.

Those hoping to participate need to act fast – the e-note scheme will only be open until 21 October.

“While Israel is still closed to international travel, we wanted to create a meaningful way in which people can be inspired and connect with the spiritual sites that are abundant in our country,” said Sharon E. Bershadsky, director of the Israel Tourist Office London.

“The Western Wall (or ‘Kotel’ in Hebrew) is an important piece of Jewish tradition and under normal circumstances, would attract thousands of travellers from all faiths and none.

“With travel currently restricted, we want to make this unique Israeli experience accessible to people from the comfort and safety of their homes.”

Messages can be left at israel.travel/westernwall.

It’s the latest in a line of many “armchair travel” experiences that have been developed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Back when the UK was in full lockdown, Israel promoted a whole series of virtual tours, including one that takes you around Jerusalem's most famous sights.

Videos have a voiceover tour guide giving more information on the city's holiest places, while 360-degree functionality makes it feel more like you're exploring.

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