On a wing and a prayer, Twitter debuts at Western Wall

Israeli man uses Twitter to help worshippers' prayers reach the Western Wall

Prayers written on paper placed between the cracks of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: Yarin Jeremy Kirchen

Prayers written on paper placed between the cracks of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: Yarin Jeremy Kirchen

Religion has teamed-up with IT to help keep a centuries-old tradition alive, as one of the most popular religious places of worship in the world jumps on-board the social networking bandwagon.

The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is a place of worship and pilgrimage in Judaism, being the closest accessible place to the holy Foundation Stone.

Many Jews make the pilgrimage to the Western Wall every year to squeeze written prayers into the Wall’s crevices. Worshippers can already have their prayers delivered by fax and email services but they can now also tweet to God in 140 characters or less.

The man responsible for letting Twitter penetrate a 2000-year-old wall of stone, Alon Nil, started the Twitter page earlier this month, and created an off-shoot Web site, tweetyourprayers.info as a hobby.

Nil told ABC Radio that he has been overwhelmed with the amount of prayers he has received so far.

“[Twitter] is easier and faster than email or any other form of communication and it’s definitely much easier than to hop on a plane and come to Israel,” Nil said.

“I’m drowning, I’m overwhelmed with the popularity this service has received.”

Nil says he was inspired by the use of Twitter during the unrest in Iran following the country’s disputed elections and declares on his Web site that he wants to help others be good people.

To date, his Twitter page has just over 2,200 followers.

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