More than 31,000 Blessing Prayers Taken to Western Wall

| July 24, 2009

James Buchanan, William Madges and Rabbi Abie Ingber with Blessing prayers at the Western Wall July 2009.

James Buchanan, William Madges and Rabbi Abie Ingber with Blessing prayers at the Western Wall July 2009.

More than 31,000 prayers from thousands of people across the United States were delivered to the Western Wall this week by Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) Rabbi Abie Ingber, Xavier University Brueggeman Center Director James Buchanan and former Xavier Theology Department Chair and now St. Joseph’s Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Bill Madges.


The prayers are from A Blessing to One Another: Pope John II and the Jewish People, a first-of-its-kind exhibit which premiered at Xavier in May 2005. Since that time the Blessing has touched the lives of more than 100,000 people as the exhibit tours the country at museums and universities.


Part of the 2,200 square foot exhibit, which chronicles the late pontiff’s life-long relationship with the Jewish people, includes a replica of the Western Wall. Visitors are encouraged to place their prayers in the wall.


The 31,099 prayers were from visitors who saw the exhibit in Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York, Rapid City, Kansas City, Philadelphia, St. Petersburg (FL) and Los Angeles.


3,953 prayers were actually placed into the Wall by hand. The rest of the prayers were placed in the Western Wall tunnels at a spot close to the Temple of Jerusalem by arrangement with the Rabbi of the wall.


This is the second time Blessing prayers have been placed at the wall.  In February 2006, Blessing co-directors Ingber, Buchanan and Madges, and Dr. Yaffa Eliach, professor of Judaic Studies and founder of the Shtetl Foundation, took more than 8,600 prayers from the Blessing exhibit to the Western Wall.


The Blessing exhibit is on display at Alvernia University in Reading, PA until the end of July. It will be featured in the near future at the Holocaust Museum of Houston, Canisius College in Buffalo and the Maltz Museum in Beechwood, OH. It has already been on display at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., Loyola University in Chicago, Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and St. Joseph’s University, just to name a few.


For more information please log on to