Photo Essay: Monthly Encirclement of the Temple Mount

Every month thousands of worshippers take part in the traditional <i>sivuv she'arim</i>, the encircling the outer walls of the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.

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Ezra HaLevi, | updated: 00:20

The renewal of the ancient custom began nearly four years ago with a small group, and has since become a very popular event. The marchers express their desire to identify with the Temple Mount by circling the holy site - stopping to pray and sing at each of the gates.

The march takes place at the start of every Jewish month, meeting in the Western Wall plaza toward nightfall and continuing around the outside walls of the Temple Mount. The march is accompanied by prayer and singing and is known as one of the most festive and moving Jerusalem traditions.

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Worshippers at the Kotel (Western Wall of the Temple Mount) prior to the start of the monthly encirclement of the Temple Mount.
Walking north from the Western Wall.
Passing the home of an Arab family built adjacent to the Temple Mount. The home is decorated to celebrate the family's pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam's most important site.
Police limit the movement of the worshippers, blocking the road leading to the Damascus Gate.
Worshippers outside the Lions Gate, where the IDF paratroopers entered the Old City in 1967 to liberate the Temple Mount.
Leaving the Old City down the ramp leading to Lion Gate.
Walking alongside the eastern wall of the Temple Mount, passing the Gates of Mercy, now sealed, where tradition has it the Messiah will enter through.
Solemn singing and the recitation of Psalms break forth into joyous dancing at the Gates of Mercy.
The monthly encirclement of the Temple Mount is well attended, with up to five thousand participants at times. Women are often the majority at the event.

(Photos: Josh Shamsi, Arutz-7 Photojournalist)