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WATCH: Hundreds in white tallitot gather for Birkat Kohanim at Western Wall

CM 22/09/2021


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As always, during the Hol Hamoed days of Sukkot and Passover, worshipers fill the Western Wall plaza to hold a joint prayer of Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, and hundreds filled the plaza on Wednesday. 
The tradition of conducting a mass event for the blessing has been a highlight of the week-long Sukkot and Passover holidays for over 50 years, with most gatherings attended by tens of thousands of people in a huge blanket of white tallitot. Now, due to strict coronavirus regulations, only a few hundred have been allowed to congregate.
Hundreds of worshipers gather for Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing in the Western Wall during Hol Hamoed Sukkot under coronavirus restrictions, September 2021 (Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post).
The Priestly Blessing – Birkat Kohanim – is a blessing recited by the descendants of the Cohen tribe (usually surnamed Cohen, Katz etc.) at every morning minyan of Shacharit. During holidays, there is an additional Mussaf prayer after the morning services, and therefore a second Priestly Blessing every day.
The Sukkot ceremonies also involve the practice of netilat lulav, blessing of the Arba Minim, or Four Species: aravot, etrog, hadassim and lulav.

 A MAN blesses the Arba Minim or Four Species, carrying a lulav, etrog, aravot and hadassim during the Birkat Kohanim Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall at Hol Hamoed Sukkot, September 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) A MAN blesses the Arba Minim or Four Species, carrying a lulav, etrog, aravot and hadassim during the Birkat Kohanim Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall at Hol Hamoed Sukkot, September 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Israel Police during Birkat Kohanim ceremony during the Sukkot holiday in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, September 22, 2021. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) Israel Police during Birkat Kohanim ceremony during the Sukkot holiday in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, September 22, 2021. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

Traditionally, the Kohanim face the congregation, holding their talit (prayer shawl) over their head with their palms open in the Cohen symbolic gesture, and bless the crowd with the words: “May God bless you and guard you. May God shine His countenance upon you and be gracious to you. May God turn His countenance toward you and grant you peace.'”

 Israel Police during Birkat Kohanim ceremony during the Sukkot holiday in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, September 22, 2021. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) Israel Police during Birkat Kohanim ceremony during the Sukkot holiday in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, September 22, 2021. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, is held in the Western Wall during Hol Hamoed Sukkot, September 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, is held in the Western Wall during Hol Hamoed Sukkot, September 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Western Wall plaza is currently open to a much smaller number of participants in comparison to past years. All worshipers are required to wear a mask during prayers, and police and Magen David Adom (MDA) forces are in attendance to enforce COVID regulations, Israeli media reported.
The COVID outline for the prayers involves capsules of worshipers allowed into the plaza on different days and at different times, to avoid large crowds. The attendees do not need to present a Green Pass, according to the Western Wall Heritage Site website.

 Israel Police during Birkat Kohanim ceremony during the Sukkot holiday in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, September 22, 2021. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) Israel Police during Birkat Kohanim ceremony during the Sukkot holiday in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, September 22, 2021. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT) Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, is held in the Western Wall during Hol Hamoed Sukkot under coronavirus restrictions, September 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, is held in the Western Wall during Hol Hamoed Sukkot under coronavirus restrictions, September 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Visit the Kotel website to view the livestream of the ceremony. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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