Watch: Thousands Party at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva

Leading figures in religious Zionism attend annual Sukkot celebration harkening back to Temple times.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Merkaz Harav Yeshiva
Merkaz Harav Yeshiva
Hezki Ezra

Thousands took part in uplifting celebrations Sunday night at the flagship religious Zionist yeshiva Merkaz Harav in Jerusalem, where the party was in full-swing for Simchat Beit Hashoeva - the "Celebration of the Water-Drawing."

The celebration during Sukkot marks a special joyous ceremony that was held at the Temple in Jerusalem to bring in a new year of rainfall, as Sukkot is considered a time when the world is judged for rain.

Indeed Israel has seen the rain start up just in time for the holiday, with the first night of Sukkot last Wednesday featuring a large burst of rain in Jerusalem; traditionally the Jewish Sages considered rain a blessing after the holiday, allowing pilgrims to Jerusalem time to arrive home on foot.

Merkaz Harav held its annual celebrations attended by several leading figures of religious Zionism, including the yeshiva's dean Rabbi Ya'akov Shapira, candidate for Jerusalem chief rabbi Rabbi Aryeh Stern, Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home), rabbis of the yeshiva, and myriads of students and graduates.

"In the best of our traditions we are happy to host with a wide heart thousands of Jews coming to dance and listen (to music) in the yeshiva hall together with its rabbis past and present," released the yeshiva in a statement. Clarinetist Musa Berlin and singer Akiva Margaliot brought the music to the festivities as they do on a regular basis.

The revelers poured out to the scene, undeterred by the 2008 massacre that took place there when an Arab terrorist broke in and opened fired on students killing eight and injuring several others before being shot dead.