Tens of Thousands Attend Priestly Blessing in Jerusalem

Over 70,000 people attended the traditional 'Birkat Kohanim' in Jerusalem on Monday.

More than 70,000 people attended the traditional "Birkat Kohanim" - the Priestly Blessing – at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday.

The event was also attended by the Western Wall's presiding rabbi, Shmuel Rabinovitch, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Chief Rabbinate Director-General Oded Weiner and others.

Birkat Kohanim - Western Wall Heritage Foundation - April 9, 2012.
Western Wall Heritage Foundation

Both of Israel's Chief Rabbis asked the throngs present to include Jonathan Pollard in their prayers. The prayer comes on the heels of Pollard's hospitalization and Sunday's meeting between Pollard's wife and Shimon Peres. The participants also prayed for Rabbis Yaakov Yosef and Shalom Elyashiv, both of whom are quite ill.

The Western Wall tradition was established 40 years ago by Rabbi Mendel Gafner, based on the idea that 300 Kohanim should bless the people of Israel in an area which is close to the place of the Temple.