Around 100,000 people took part in the Passover priestly blessing of the kohanim (members of the priestly line) at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday morning.
The blessing is recited by Jewish people who are said to be descendants of Aaron, the brother of Moses, and is one of the most ancient blessings in the Jewish faith. Kohanim often cover their faces when they utter the blessing, it being a long-held tradition that the face of a kohen during the blessing is awe-inspiring.
The ceremony was attended by rabbis Yitzhak Yosef, who serves as the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel; David Lau, who serves as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel; and Shmuel Rabinovitch, who serves as the Rabbi of the Western Wall and the holy sites in the land of Israel.
In addition, the ceremony was attended by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Head of Police Roni Alsheikh and head of Jerusalem Police Yoram Halevi.
The blessing is recited by kohanim at various times throughout the Jewish calendar in the diaspora but is recited daily during prayers in Jerusalem and weekly across Israel. The idea to bring many kohanim to the Western Wall for special blessings during Passover and Sukkot started in 1970 when Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gafni did so.
Today, tens of thousands come to the Western Wall to participate in this special event.
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