JERUSALEM — Judaism's holiest prayer site has entered the Twitter age.
The Western Wall now has its own address on the social networking service, allowing believers around the globe to have their prayers placed between its 2,000 year-old-stones without even leaving their armchairs.
The service's Web site says petitioners can tweet their prayers and they will be printed out and taken to the wall, where they will join the thousands of handwritten notes placed by visitors who believe their requests will find a shortcut to God by being deposited there.
The wall, in Jerusalem's Old City, is all that remains of the second biblical Jewish temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. It stands where the bible says King Solomon built the first temple, which was destroyed by the Babylonians more than 600 years earlier.
The Tweet Your Prayers site does not identify its founders, saying only that the driving force behind it is a "young man from Tel Aviv".
No charge is made for placing a prayer at the wall. Visitors to the Web site are invited to make donations by credit card and it has sponsored links to an outdoor reception hall on the nearby Mount of Olives and a publisher of custom-made prayer books.
Throughout the ages, Jews have prayed at the Western Wall, and many others have made courtesy calls.
Recent VIP visitors include Pope Benedict XVI, Barack Obama when he was a U.S. presidential candidate and film star Leonardo DiCaprio, whose bodyguards were arrested for allegedly assaulting three photographers during a scuffle at the site.
Tweet Your Prayers opened earlier this month but for several years, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has operated a fax hot line and a Web site where people overseas can send their prayers and have them printed out and placed in the wall's crevices.
Twice a year, at Passover in the spring and the Jewish New year in the fall, the wall's rabbi clears out the accumulated notes which are buried in accordance with Jewish custom, which forbids the destruction of writings that mention God, such as worn or damaged Torah scrolls, prayer books and other religious articles.
The Tweet Your Prayers site's Frequently Asked Questions page asks what recourse users have if their prayers are not answered.
"Take it up with the Big Guy upstairs," is the reply. "We're just the middlemen!"
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