Tens of thousands of worshippers showed up at the Western Wall in Jerusalem Monday to participate in the traditional priestly blessing. The morning prayers of Sukkot were held with the Chief Rabbis of Israel Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Rabbi Yonah Metzger in attendance.
Following the prayers, the chief rabbis held a special prayer and recited psalms for the speedy recovery of those injured in the war and the return of the kidnapped soldiers. Afterwards, the custom of visiting one's rabbi in the sukka in the Western Wall complex, and the rabbi's welcomed the masses.
Masses show up for Sukkot prayers at Western Wall (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The women's section for prayer was smaller than usual this year because of work being done in the area. The division between the men's section was moved over to make more room for the room, but this still was not sufficient. There are hopes that next year, work will be done to improve the situation.
Performing the traditional priestly blessing (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
In meetings held before the holiday between United Torah Judaism MK Yakov Litzman, Rabbi Ravinovich and Jerusalem District Police, logistics preparing for the holiday were worked out.
It was established that separate access ways and checkpoints would be set up starting at Dung Gate and along the main route to the Western Wall during the holiday in order to maintain the separation between men and women and to uphold modesty standards in the face of increased crowds.