Tens of thousands of Yidden attended a mass Birkas Kohanim this morning at the Kosel. The large Birkas Kohanim is held every Chol Hamoed and draws tremendous crowds.
The entire Old City of Yerushalayim was closed to vehicles as thousands streamed by foot and via bus to the Kosel. Some had davened Shacharis elsewhere, while others took part at minyanim at the Kosel. All joined together for the central Birkas Kohanim,with the Kosel chazzan calling out the bracha over a microphone. Hundreds of kohanim gathered at the front of the minyan, right by the Kosel, to bentch their fellow Yidden.
After davening, many in the crowd went to greet the Israeli Chief Rabbis and Rav Shmuel Rabinovitch, rov of the Kosel, to receive their bracha and wish them chag sameiach.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman – a kohein himself – were among those present. Mr. Friedman was joined by his son and grandson in bentching Klal Yisroel.
The biannual event was first started by Rav Menachem Mendel Gefner zt”l.