"To all the readers of JPost, I want to wish you a hatima tova (to be signed for good in the book of life) a happy healthy prosperous and most importantly peaceful new year," said the United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to The Jerusalem Post while attending the Priestly blessing event at the Western Wall on Wednesday.
"I'm here at the Western Wall. It's a great honor and privilege for me to be here as a kohen (priest) to give the blessings to the people of Israel. It's an incredibly moving experience. I look forward to this every one of the Jewish festivals and I'm very happy to be here." Tens of thousands of people are at the Western Wall for the Priestly blessing (Birkat Kohanim), which is recited during the intermediate days of the Sukkot holiday. The chief rabbis of Israel and the Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites will be in attendance for the ceremony, as well.The services will begin with morning prayers (shacharit) at 8:45 a.m. and will continue with the additional holiday prayers that are added during Sukkot (musaf) at 10:00 a.m. The Priestly blessing will occur twice throughout the services: once during shacharit at 9:30 a.m. and once during the musaf prayers at 10:15 a.m.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman at the Priestly blessing event during the Sukkot holiday 2019 (Credit: Marc Israel Sellem)