Tag: Kotel

70,000 attend Priestly Blessing at Kotel

Tens of thousands of people gather on rooftops, balconies and every empty corner to watch traditional Sukkot prayer at Western Wall. Virtual mass prayer dedicated to Gilad Shalit held on Facebook

More than 70,000 people on Sunday attended what appeared to be the biggest Priestly Blessing ever seen at the Western Wall. The crowd recited both the Morning Prayer and the Musaf Prayer.

Hundreds of Kohanim blessed the worshippers with the following Biblical verses: “May the Lord bless you and guard you. May the Lord make his face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his face unto you and give you peace.”

The prayer was attended by Israel’s Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar, Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino.

The Priestly Blessing tradition was founded in 1970 during the War of Attrition by Jerusalem resident Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gafner. It has been held for over 40 years, twice a year: On the intermediary days of Passover and Sukkot.

During one of his prayers at the Western Wall, Gafner remembered a Talmudic verse which describes the merit of the Priestly Blessing even when the Temple was destroyed – and decided to renew the tradition.

Say no to the Kotel

Temple Movement may adopt a new slogan – “Say ‘no’ to the Kotel” – because it wants people to say ‘yes’ to the Temple Mount. By Gil Ronen

The Movement for Establishment of the Temple will hold a Temple Conference and “Temple Feast” in ten days’ time, and it intends to adopt a new slogan – “Say ‘No’ to the Kotel” — that some will find provocative.

Yehuda Glick of the Movement explained the rationale behind the slogan in an exclusive Arutz Sheva interview. The Jewish people, he said, have gotten psychologically accustomed over the centuries to a situation in which they only had access to the Kotel and in which rebuilding the Temple seemed like an impossible dream.

However, the dream is more possible than ever and it is time to start thinking and acting differently, he urged. “About 25 years ago we started to ascend to the Temple Mount,” he explained. “We were barely ten people. And now hundreds of people ascend. The question is, how do we create a consciousness that Jews on the Temple Mount are a natural thing.”

Time has come to let Jews pray on Temple Mount

Op-ed: Time has come to end the discrimination, allow Jews to pray at Jerusalem holy site

Hagai Segal

The day the Old City was conquered was the happiest day in the sovereign State of Israel’s history. It was a rare day where imagination and reality, prayers and actuality came together. Even David Ben Gurion characterized it as a more joyous day than the day our independence was declared.

Regrettably, it was also a day of historical failure: Instead of celebrating on Temple Mount, the paratroopers ran to the Western Wall.

They simply got confused. That generation was still closely attached to the memory of the Diaspora, where the Kotel served as a symbolic substitute for Temple Mount. This period kept on extending and with the passage of time we saw emotional confusion between the substitute and the original.

Over 10,000 gather at the Western Wall for Priestly Blessings,

10,000 worshipers throng Jerusalem’s Western Wall Plaza for bi-annual Priestly Blessing; police presence ensures prayers pass peacefully.

Ten thousand Jewish worshipers gathered at the Western Wall Plaza on Thursday to take part in the bi-annual Priestly Blessing, which usually occurs on the second intermediate days of Sukkot and Pessah.

The blessing, known in Hebrew as the Birkat Hakohanim, is a public gathering in which the Kohanim – the priestly class – bestow upon the Jewish people a three-fold blessing that originated with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Massive police presence ensured that the prayers passed peacefully and without incident.

During the Priestly Blessing in October 2009 massive rioting broke out on the Temple Mount and throughout east Jerusalem, following rumors circulated by Muslim priests that spoke of a “Jewish plot” to take over the incendiary holy site.

Sarah Palin, why apoligize to Islam?

by Gil Ronen

Popular conservative politician Sarah Palin understands the importance of the Temple Mount to the Jewish people, according to MK Danny Danon (Likud), who accompanied her on a visit to the Kotel Sunday.

Danon told Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew-language service: “When we toured near the Kotel and in the tunnels near the Holy of Holies, she told me clear things without hesitating. She understands the importance of the place for the Jewish People and even asked me ‘Why do you keep apologizing to the Muslims all the time?'”

“I explained to her the mistakes made by [then-Defense Minister] Moshe Dayan in 1967 and our mistakes in not fulfilling our rights in the Temple Mount and the Old City,” Danon said. He was referring to Dayan’s decision to hand back the keys to the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf immediately after the liberation of the Mount in the Six-Day War.

Is Temple Mount in our hands?

Renouncing Jewish right for Mount paves way to losing right for entire land

The many statements recently issued by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas included one where he expressed his willingness to let Israel maintain its control over Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall. Various Palestinian spokespeople and Knesset Member Dr. Ahmed Tibi were quick to stress that this willingness comes with an unequivocal Palestinian position demanding full, exclusive sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

Whatever Israel’s position on other territorial issues, we must warn against such a “deal” with the Palestinians. Moreover, during negotiations with the Palestinians in the framework of the Geneva Accord, they fought for ensuring that the term “Kotel” refer only to part of the Western Wall – the small section where Jews pray today. Hence, Abbas’ words only refer to the limited plaza at the Wailing Wall and not to the entire Western Wall, let alone the Kotel tunnels.

Israel’s demand for the Western Wall is not premised on the Kotel being a holy Jewish site in and of itself. The demand is premised on the Kotel being a remnant of our Temple. Anyone recognizing our right for the Western Wall must recognize the fact that the Kotel is part of a structure or several structures that Jews have no less attachment to than the Muslims. One who has no right for the structure has no right for any wall of that structure.

Banning the Kotel

Outrageous: UK advertising watchdog bans Western Wall from Israel tourism ads.

As we in Israel gear up to celebrate our 62nd year of Independence, the last 43 of which have been led from an undivided capital city, the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) seems intent to burst our balloons and take down our strings of flags.

Israel plans major excavation at Western Wall

Israel is planning a major archaeological dig under the Western Wall (Kotel) plaza, opposite the Temple Mount, officials announced Thursday. The excavations will create an archaeological park directly underneath the area where worshippers currently stand while praying at the Kotel.