from the February 2011 issue

Seeing the Western Wall

The holiest site in Judaism is now open to virtual travelers, with the debut of an app allowing iPhone and iPad users to see Jerusalem's Western Wall 24/6 - every day but the Jewish Sabbath.

"We had to get with the times," said Joseph Loshinsky, president of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which oversaw the app's creation and which administers the Western Wall.

Loshinsky, who owns an iPhone and iPad, says he thought of the app as a way to help solve the problem of "thousands of years of people dreaming of Jerusalem but not being able to get there."

The app includes a compass orienting users toward the wall to offer prayers from afar, a video feed of the wall - up everyday except Saturday - and a tool for sending messages to be inserted into the wall, a tradition for Jews visiting Jerusalem's Old City.

The app, called iKotel - after the Hebrew term for the Western Wall - was rolled out Monday and is available for free in English, Hebrew and Russian from Apple's online stores.

The wall is the sole remnant of Jerusalem's ancient temple, destroyed 2,000 years ago.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report February 2011

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