Preparations at Kosel for Pesach, Mass Birchas Kohanim Set for Thursday


birchas-kohanim-at-koselAt the Kosel, preparations are underway for taking in tens of thousands over Pesach. This year, the Kosel Heritage Fund has decided to place an electric mobility scooter next to the bus station, to make it easier for the elderly and disabled to reach the Plaza.

The Kosel rov, Rav Shmuel Rabinovich reached an agreement with the Israel Police that will make it easier for Yidden from chutz laaretz to visit the Kosel without running into halacha problems. The problem arises on the second day of Yom Tov that Yidden from chutz laaretz observe during the first and last days of Pesach. During Chol Hamoed and on Isru Chag, the entrance gates to the Kosel do not operate in Shabbos mode, and security checks include electronic devices, thus causing a problem for Yidden from chutz laaretz.

According to the arrangement, Yidden from chutz laaretz and others who keep two days of Yom Tov will have the right to request a manual security check.

The Old City will be closed off to private vehicles during Yom Tov and visitors to the Kosel are asked to use public transport.

The bi-annual mass Birchas Kohanim will take place on Thursday, the second day of Chol Hamoed. Shacharis will begin at 8:45, with Birchas Kohanim at 9:30, Mussaf at 10:00 and Birchas Kohanim of Mussaf at 10:15.

The Ashkenazi and Sefardi Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rav Yonah Metzger and Rav Shlomo Amar, will then hold a reception for all.

{Yair Israel}