Birkat Hakohanim 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Some 40,000 Jewish worshipers thronged the Western Wall Plaza Sunday to take part in the bi-annual Priestly Blessing, which usually occurs on the second intermediate days of Sukkot and Pesach.
The blessing, known in Hebrew as the Birkat Hakohanim, is a public
gathering in which the Kohanim – the priestly class – bestow upon the
Jewish people a three-fold blessing that originated with the giving of
the Torah at Mount Sinai.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai attended, as did Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat
and Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin.
Massive police presence ensured that the prayers passed peacefully and
During the Priestly Blessing in October 2009 massive rioting broke out
on the Temple Mount and throughout east Jerusalem, following rumors
circulated by Muslim priests that spoke of a "Jewish plot" to take over
the incendiary holy site.