One of the ancient stones from Jerusalem's Western Wall has dislodged and crashed into an adjacent prayer area, miraculously missing a woman who was praying just metres away.
Rabinowitz noted that the stones above the main prayer section of the Western Wall are examined by professionals twice a year. She does not appear to have been hit. In 2004, a large piece of Herodian stone fell onto the main prayer plaza.
After Monday's incident, police cordoned off the egalitarian area as Israel Antiquity Authority personnel arrived to evaluate the situation.
Yitzhar Hess, head of the religiously conservative Masorti Movement, described the incident on Twitter as "a wake-up call". "I thank the Almighty for preventing a major disaster".
IAA Chairman Yisrael Hasson said the stone's fall could have been caused by humidity or by erosion caused by plants growing in the wall's crevices. One worshiper was slightly injured falling.
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Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz called the falling rock "an extremely rare incident" that requires people to search their souls.
Jewish priests wearing "Talit" (prayer shawls) and civilians take part in the Cohanim prayer (priest's blessing) during the Passover (Pesach) holiday at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, on April 2, 2018.
He said that more rocks could fall at any time.
A 2014 study by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem charted erosion in the different kinds of limestone that make up the Western Wall and said it was a problem for engineers concerned about its stability. During the restructuring and expansion of the building of the Temple (37-4 BC) by the order of king Herod, the Temple mount was enclosed by a retaining wall. The wall itself is one of the last standing remnants of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. It is considered to be the holiest site where Jews are permitted to pray.