Monday: Priestly Blessing at Kotel (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gil Ronen 04/08/12)
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The traditional mass Priestly Blessing at the Kotel is to take place
Monday. Shacharit prayer will begin at 8:45 a.m., and Priestly
Blessings will take place at 9:30 and 10:15.
It has become a tradition to hold large scale Priestly Blessings at
the Kotel twice every year – once on one of the Chol Hamoed days of
Sukkoth, and once in Chol Hamoed of Pesach.
The Priestly Blessing is recited in the course of the Shemone Esre
prayer. In synagogues, it involves all of the men who belong to the
priestly caste (Kohanim) standing before the congregation with their
backs to the Ark and reciting a short three-part blessing, which they
bestow upon the rest of the congregants.
At the time of the blessing, the Kohanim cover their faces with their
prayer shawls, and it is customary for the congregants to also cover
their eyes or look away from the Kohanim.
In the Kotel blessings, the same thing happens – but on a much larger
and more dramatically poignant scale.
After the prayers, Chief Rabbis Rav Yonah Metzger and Rav Shlomo Amar
will hold a reception for the public, alongside Kotel Rabbi Shmuel
The tradition of large-scale Priestly Blessings was established by
the late Rav Menachem Mendel Gefner. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012
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