Contamination Found in Kosel Siddurim


kosel A recent examination of communal siddurim at the Kosel shows large numbers of fecal bacteria, a contamination that far exceeds the normal rate, according to a report in Yediot Achronot.

The contamination was found in siddurim both from the men’s section and the ezras noshim, but the report says that the rov of the Kosel, Rav Shmuel Rabinovich, contends that his sources state that the contamination comes from  the women who tend to hold the seiddurim close to their faces and shed tears.

The samples taken from siddurim from both sides of the Kosel revealed extremely large numbers of fecal bacteria colonies including E. coli and other coliform bacteria.

One sample had 460,000 colonies (1000 being the normal rate) and another had 540,000 colonies of bacteria, in addition to high concentration of mold.

High concentration of bacteria can lead to inflammatory bowel, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and sometimes even to life threatening infections.

Rav Rabinovich added that the power of the tefillos of women is often stronger than men’s, as seforim mention, due to their tears, and their heartfelt kavanah.

Rav Rabinovich added that the siddurim at the Kosel are frequently replaced, but he reaffirmed that following the conclusions of the recent test, the siddurim will be replaced more often.

Israel’s Association of Public Health saluted Rav Rabinovitch for his quick response, according to the Yediot report.

{Yair Israel}


  1. and germs are in every bathroom in the world, plus doorknobs, carpeting and seats on the bus.

    So what? eat healthy and carry tissues with you.

  2. How did they come to this conclusion?

    The real issue is that there are lots of birds at the Kosel, and there are droppings everywhere.

  3. E. Coli does not come from tears. It comes from inadequate bathroom hygiene. Perhaps they should check the facilities? Or they could encourage people to use sanitary gels out of dispensers the way they do in the US.

    The solution: separate siddurim. I’m surprised they didn’t already have separate men’s and women’s siddurim

  4. the zchus of davening will protect us from being harmed of bacteria or anything else and if Hashem wants s/o 2 get sick he will get sick with with all the purrel in the world

  5. #10 – look up “irony” on Wiktionary. That last line was a joke at the expense of the people who have begun advocating for separate seating on buses, sidewalks, etc. And I’ll bet you if they had separate siddurim, that it would the women’s that would be cleaner. Proper hygiene habits come from your mother yelling at you when you ignore them. There are no mothers in yeshiva dorms to remind you.

  6. Simple solution – purel. It’s not as widely used in Israel, but it should be. We have a number of frequent shabbos guests who seem to have not learned the importance of soap and simply wash 6 times and go on their way. It’s dangerous.

  7. Seriously, this is a PR stunt by Intel (makers of majority of ships for cells and smart phones) to encourage the exclusive use of Cell-Siddurim…

  8. I guess this has never happened before – perhaps this is the REAL reason for the churban?? ps – NOT a joke. – if we were cognizant if the physical cleanliness due this, than perhaps we would have been more sensitive to the cleanliness required/contained within a holy neshama and would guard our actions as such……

  9. to comment#11- i guess if you get sick no need to go to the doctor -because, if Hashem wants you to get well you will and if he wants you to be sick no surgery or medication is going to help. Glad I don’t live in your world.