Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

75,000 Gather at Western Wall for Priestly Blessing

Image by getty images

More than 75,000 people gathered at the Western Wall for the Priestly Blessing ceremony.

The worshippers converged on Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday for the blessing, called Birkat Kohanim in Hebrew, during the second intermediate day of Passover. The blessing also is held on Succot and Shavuot, the other of the Shalosh Regalim, or pilgrimage festivals, when the Jews would ascend to the Holy Temple.

Hundreds of Kohanim held up their hands and blessed the worshippers, including many visitors from the Diaspora.

The Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Rabbi David Lau, as well as the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, greeted visitors to the wall after the services.

The Israel Police put on extra units and employed additional security measures in the Old City of Jerusalem for the event.

“The pilgrimage to Israel is an impressive testament to the Jewish People’s attachment to the remnant of our Temple; when the masses of Israel come to touch its stones,” Rabinovich said in a statement.”This joyous sight of the masses of Israel completely filling the streets is somehow reminiscent of ancient times when crowds of pilgrims would come to see and be seen. More than a commemoration of the Temple’s destruction, it is a commemoration of the Temple itself.”

Meanwhile, visits by Jews to the Temple Mount reportedly were limited then halted Monday morning after an influx of Muslim worshipers.

Image by getty images

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.