High security in Jerusalem, thousands arrived at the Kotel for Priestly Blessing
Israeli security forces were on high alert Monday in Jerusalem’s Old City ahead of a mass Jewish blessing ceremony at the Western Wall to mark the Sukkot holiday.
Thousands of Jews flooded the Old City of Jerusalem today and headed towards the Western Wall, where the traditional Priestly Blessing [Birkat HaKohanim] took place.
The Priestly Blessing is a prayer recited by the priests who are believed to be direct patrilineal decedents of the first high priest Aaron, the brother of Moses.
Israel Police and Border Police secured the crowds. Increased police security in Jerusalem is to continue for the duration of the holiday.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman joined thousands of Jews for the priestly blessing at the Western Wall.
“It’s a great privilege for me as a kohen to be able to bless the people of Israel, the nation of Israel, from this wonderful vantage point from the Kotel Hamaaravi. This is the third time I’ve had the chance to do this,” Friedman said. “I want to wish all those who observe the festival of Sukkot a chag sameach.”