The march between gates of the Temple Mount
The march between gates of the Temple MountZevul Yaakovi

Over a thousand people participated last weekend in the traditional tour around the gates of the Temple Mount, in which the participants marked the beginning of the month of Elul - according to Jewish tradition, the month of mercy and forgiveness while accepting the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Rabbi Yossi Pelai, one of the organizers of the event, commented: "In the month of Elul, we return to seek God and look forward to the inspiration of the Divine Presence within us, in a process that we hope to culminate in the building of the third Temple on Mount Moriah."

The participants marched around the gates of the Temple Mount with singing and dancing, like every month. The rabbi of the city of Yeruham - Rabbi Yitzchak Shalev - participated in the march and delivered moving words of blessing to the crowd in the Shear Shevatim square.

Rabbi Pelai added: "The tour at the beginning of Elul takes place in a special atmosphere of renewal, traditionally symbolized by the phrase 'I am my beloved's, and he is mine.'"

It should be noted that the traditional tour of the gates is an ancient custom dating back to the Gaonic period. The people of Jerusalem used to circle the Temple Mount and pray in front of its gates. The custom was renewed twenty years ago by the "El Har Hamor" association.

Young people, teenagers, families, and children come to the event at the beginning of every Hebrew month. The participants march from the Western Wall plaza of the Temple Mount and make a circuit of the gates of the Mount from the outside while praying and dancing. In each of the gates, a chapter from the Songs of Ascents is recited. This year is the 20th anniversary of the event.