The Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Tens of thousands of people from Israel and abroad gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday for the traditional priestly blessing.
The blessing is held at the Kotel – the Hebrew name for the Western Wall – during the intermediate days of Passover and Succot, and also on Shavuot, and normally attracts thousands of worshipers.
The assemblage at the Temple Mount for these holidays is rooted in the Jewish tradition which saw Israelites ascend to the Temple for ritual worship led by the high priests during these three holidays, called the Shalosh Regalim, or the three pilgrimage festivals.
While pilgrimage is no longer required in Judaism since the destruction of the Second Temple, many Jews grasp the opportunity to go up to Jerusalem during these holidays.