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      70,000 at Kotel for Priestly Blessing

      Police closed off all roads leading to Old City due to Birkat Kohanim prayer ceremony.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 4/9/2012, 10:29 AM

      Priestly blessing
      Priestly blessing
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      An estimated 70,000 people came to the Kotel Plaza in Jerusalem Monday to partake in the traditional Priestly Blessing prayer. It was one of the largest such ceremonies ever.

      Police closed off all roads leading to Old City. Drivers were requested to park their cars in public parking areas.

      The prayer ceremony could be viewed live on the Kotel cams.

      The prayer was followed by a reception for the general public, hosted by the Chief Rabbis, Rav Shlomo Amar and Rav Yonah Metzger, as well as Kotel Rabbi Rav Shmuel Rabinovich.

      The tradition of holding large-scale Priestly Blessings twice a year, during teh chol hamoed days of Pesach and Shavuot, was established by the late Rav Menachem Mendel Gefner.



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