Watch: Tens of thousands attend Priestly Blessing
Tens of thousands of Jews from Israel and abroad attend Priestly Blessing event at Western Wall.
On Monday morning, tens of thousands of Jews from Israel and around the world gathered at the Western Wall for the traditional mass Priestly Blessing ceremony.
After the ceremony, Israel’s Chief Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau greeted the visitors, together with Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch.
American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (United Right), Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon, and Israel Police’s Commissioner Motti Cohen, also participated in the event.
Jerusalem’s Old City is closed to private traffic throughout the intermediate days of Passover, and the public is asked to use public transportation.
“The fact that tens of thousands of worshipers are now at the Western Wall Plaza is very moving,” Leon said. “The Jerusalem municipality prepared itself ahead of time, with stands offering water to the public. I call on the public to listen to the instructions of the police and organizers.”
“After we finished praying for rain, and began to pray for dew on the first day of Pesach (Passover), this is an opportunity to thank the Creator for the abundance and the rain given to us,” Rabbi Rabinovitch said.
The traditional Priestly Blessing ceremony includes hundreds of priests, descendants of the priestly tribe of Levi. The priests cover themselves in prayer shawls as they bless the Jewish people in the holiest place for the Jewish people, and thousands are expected to attend.
The commandment to bless the Jewish people and the words of the blessing are found in the Bible (Numbers 6: 22-27).