Watch: 50,000 Attend Birkat Hakohanim at the Kotel

Tens of thousands attended the priestly blessing ceremony at the Kotel, and rabbis continue to greet the faithful until noon.

Arutz Sheva staff ,

Birkat Hakohanim (Priestly blessing)
Birkat Hakohanim (Priestly blessing)
Israel news photo

At last 50,000 people filled the Western Wall (Kotel) Plaza Monday, for the Birkat Hakohanim ceremony – the Priestly Blessing.

The ceremony is held every year during Chol Hamoed Pesach and Chol Hamoed Sukkot.

Hundreds of Kohanim – descendants of the original Jewish Temple priests, who have special status in Judaism – took part in the Shacharit morning prayer and performed the mitzvah of the Priestly Blessing twice, during Shacharit and during the Musaf prayer.

The Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhal Yosef and Rabbi David Lau, along with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, the Kotel Rabbi, have been personally greeting the Jewish pilgrims since the prayer ended, and were scheduled to continue doing so until noon.

Minister Uri Ariel said Monday morning, at the Western Wall, that he was “moved” by the occasion. Ariel, who is also a Kohen, stood next to the Kotel along with the other Kohanim, facing the multitude, and performed the blessing.