JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Jewish worshipers gathered at the Western Wall for the priestly blessing.
Hundreds of Kohanim, members of the priestly class, blessed some 10,000 worshipers in the morning prayer service Thursday, which is held each year during Passover and Sukkot.
A security force in the hundreds guarded the gathering, according to reports.
It marked the 40th year that such gatherings have been held at the Western Wall. Last October during Sukkot, Arab riots broke out on the Temple Mount and throughout Jerusalem following rumors that Jews intended to take over the Mount.
The chief rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar, and Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich held a reception at the Western Wall pavilion following the event.
Meanwhile, about 700 Jewish worshipers prayed at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus in a service secured by some 100 soldiers.