Among the worshippers were Israel's Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar as well as Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall. The rabbis noted kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit in their prayer and prayed for his quick and safe return.
The three greeted the many attendees in a sukkah set up at the site.
Morning prayer in Western Wall (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Jerusalem Police deployed large forces in the Old City, the neighboring villages and around the Temple Mount following recent clashes in east Jerusalem and in order to maintain order. No irregular incidents have been noted as of yet.
For the past 40 years a mass prayer has been held in the Sukkot and Passover intermediate days at the Western Wall. Hundreds of Kohanim wrapped in prayers shawls bless the thousands of worshippers who flock to the holy site from all parts of the country, saying: "May God bless you and guard you; may Adonai make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; may Adonai lift up his face onto you and give you peace."
Rabbi Rabinowitz said that the large amount of worshippers who attend the event each year, also in times of tense security, is a testament to the strong bond the Jewish people feel towards Jerusalem and the Western Wall.
The rabbi further noted that he was convinced that security forces will manage to maintain order.
Eli Mandelbaum and Yair Altman contributed to this report
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