Close to ten thousand worshippers participated in Thursday's Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall which is held during the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot. Hundreds of security forces and first-aid teams deployed throughout the area in order to protect the believers.
Hundreds of Kohanim wrapped in prayer shawls blessed the crowd, which came from around the country for the occasion.
The Priestly Blessing has been held during the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot at the Western Wall for the past 40 years. Hundreds of Kohanim bless worshippers with the traditional blessing.
Priestly Blessing in Jerusalem (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Following the event, the chief rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar, and Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich received the worshippers in a reception held in the Western Wall pavilion giving them blessings and wishing them a happy holiday.
A similar event will be held later Thursday at the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter for the speedy recovery of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who usually partakes in the festive events but is currently indisposed do to illness. His son, the chief rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, will receive the worshippers at the synagogue.
Hundreds pray at Joseph's Tomb
Some 700 people worshipped on Wednesday night at Joseph's Tomb near Nablus. Buses full of worshippers started arriving at the site in the heart of Nablus at around 1 am.
The event was secured by more than 100 soldiers and went "very well," according to what military sources told Ynet.
Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said that going to Joseph's Tomb on Passover is of symbolic importance to the Jewish people. "I have a special interest in coming to this sport in order to receive the power to stand strong as a people that stands on its principles."
Mesika added that despite the importance of the prayer, he was pained to see the tomb's complex in such disrepair: "This is a place that, even according to agreements, was supposed to be under our sovereignty. It is a shame that the government of Israel does not do more to show this holy place the respect it deserves."
Shmulik Grossman contributed to this article