Watch: Jerusalem mayor after Priestly Blessing at Western Wall

Jerusalem mayor wishes Israelis a happy Sukkot holiday, praises holiday unity.

Yoni Kempinski,

Nir Barkat with Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef at the Western Wall on Monday
Nir Barkat with Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef at the Western Wall on Monday
Yoni Kempinski

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Wednesday praised the unity of those visiting the Western Wall to hear the Priestly Blessing.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva after the ceremony, Barkat said, "Sukkot is a holiday that gets all people together."

"If you look around, you've got secular, religious, ultra-Orthodox, you've got Sephardi[c], Ashkenazi[c] - all over the map, all people, all tribes, all coming to Jerusalem to pray together."

Barkat also encouraged Jews to visit Jerusalem more often.

"Have a happy holiday, and come and do 'aliyah laregel' to Jerusalem, this year and three times a year next year," he concluded.

"Aliya laregel" refers to when Jews from around Israel would visit the Holy Temple during the holidays of Pesach (Passover), Shavuot, and Sukkot. Today, the concept mainly refers to visiting the Western Wall during these holidays.

Barkat, who has served as mayor of Jerusalem since 2008, has another month left in office. Municipal elections are scheduled for the end of October, but Barkat announced earlier this year that he would not run for a third term.

In a Hebrew interview with Arutz Sheva, Barkat promised to attend the next Priestly Blessing event as well.

"I love this city, I love the people here, and this isn't the last time I'll be here," he promised. "It's my last time as mayor, but it's not my last time ever."




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