Photo Credit: Yoav Dudkevitch/TPS
Thousands of Jews thronged to the Western Wall in Jerusalem for the traditional priestly blessing (Birkat Kohanim) on April 25, 2024

Thousands of Jews from across the world gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning to attend the recitation of the Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) by descendants of the High Priests of the Jewish Holy Temples.

The first such event to take place since the October 7 massacre and invasion of Israel by Hamas-led terrorists, the event included a special prayer for the safety and return of the 133 hostages held in Gaza, for the well-being of the IDF soldiers and security forces, for the healing of the wounded, and for peace for the people of Israel.

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The benediction is given by kohanim, the descendants of Aharon the Priest and takes place during major Jewish festivals.

The ceremony took place with the participation of Israel’s chief rabbis, the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, and masses of the Jewish people.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.