Birkat Hakohanim – the Priestly Blessing – October 2016

In Israel, the priestly blessing takes place daily in every synagogue across the country. But twice a year, once during Passover and once during Sukkot, a mass priestly blessing is held at the Western Wall.

This gathering of tens of thousands became tradition following its initiation by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gafner during the War of Attrition. He thought of the impact and power the priestly blessing holds, even following the destruction of the temples, and decided to offer both kohanim and others to partake in this meaningful experience en masse during a period that was very difficult in the State of Israel.

Birkat Kohanim at the Kotel is something very worth attending at least once. Provided you aren’t bothered by very large crowds, join the tens of thousands of people who attend this event annually and receive the historic blessing from hundreds of Jews of priestly lineage as they face the congregation, hands stretched forward, chanting in one voice.

It’s best to arrive early to make sure you get into the Western Wall plaza. Bring sun protection, modest clothing, a bottle of water, some snacks and a camera. Do not try to get anywhere close by car. You can take the light rail to the Kikar Safra stop and from there walk through Jaffa Gate and down to the Western Wall.

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