July 22, 2024
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1.5 Million People Visit Western Wall Over High Holidays

Around 1.5 million people visited the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem over the High Holidays, in what the Western Wall Heritage Foundation called a “testimony to the deep connection” of the entire spectrum of Israeli society to the Western Wall and Jewish tradition.

Tens of thousands of Jews from across Israel and the world attended Selichot penitential prayers ahead of Yom Kippur, the traditional priestly blessing called Birkat Cohanim ahead of the holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) and the Second Hakafot at the conclusion of Simchat Torah. The mass prayers were also attended by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch.

This was the first time the Second Hakafot celebrations were held at the Western Wall, in what was a show of solidarity with Diaspora Jews, who celebrate the Simchat Torah holiday for two days. Jews dance with Torah scrolls during Hakafot at the conclusion of Simchat Torah, which marks the completion of the annual cycle of Torah readings.

The Western Wall is sacred to Jews as the site of the destroyed First and Second Temples.

By Yori Yalon and Israel Hayom Staff

 

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