ברכת כהנים
Priestly Benediction Ceremony, September 22, 2021
Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch
Priestly Benediction Ceremony, September 22

Thousands attend Sukkot's priestly blessing prayer at Western Wall

This year's priestly benediction in honor of the holiday is held under some pandemic-induced restrictions in order to avoid overcrowding and potential COVID outbreaks; ceremony held only twice a year on Sukkot and Passover

Kobi Nachshoni, Gilad Cohen |
Published: 09.22.21, 11:00
Thousands of worshippers flocked to the Western Wall plaza on Wednesday for the traditional two-day priestly blessing prayer held in celebration of Sukkot.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • The ceremony itself is a high profile event held only twice a year on Sukkot and Passover, during which a group of Kohanim (Hebrew priests and descendants of Aaron) recite a prayer from the Book of Numbers meant to bless all Israelites.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ברכת כהנים
    ברכת כהנים
    Priestly Benediction Ceremony, September 22
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    The Priestly Blessing has been held a the Western Wall plaza twice a year for over 40 decades, and has been regularly attended by tens of thousands of people, be they religious, secular, Haredi or even non-Jewish tourists.
    This year, due to the COVID pandemic and restrictions meant to prevent a mass outbreak following the prayer, entry to the Western Wall plaza has been limited to no more than 8,000 people, while the plaza itself has been divided into 15 prayer capsules meant to prevent overcrowding.
    The entry to the site, however, is allowed without the need to present a certificate of vaccination or recovery.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ברכת כהנים
    ברכת כהנים
    Priestly Benediction Ceremony, September 22, 2021
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    Unlike previous years, the Kohanim will conduct the prayer on both Wednesday and Thursday in order to allow more people to attend the ceremony and hear the prayer either in person or through a live feed despite the restrictions.
    In preparations for the event, the police deployed thousands of officers all around as well as inside Jerusalem's Old City, where the Western Wall is located, in order to ensure the visitors' safety.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ברכת הכוהנים בכותל המערבי ב-2017 והיום
    ברכת הכוהנים בכותל המערבי ב-2017 והיום
    The Priestly Benediction Ceremony in 2019
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Entry to the area with private vehicles has also been prohibited - except for local residents. Those wishing to arrive to the Old City can do so via the city's public transportation, which has been reinforced to facilitate the large amount of visitors expected to reach the site.

    Talkbacks for this article 0