In a powerful display of the glory that once was the Jewish Temple, tens of thousands of worshipers gathered at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday morning to receive the biannual Priestly Blessing from hundreds of Kohanim (men of the priestly caste). An Estimated 80,000 people flocked to the site, in what has become a major aspect of the Passover holiday in Jerusalem.

The mass blessing by the kohanim, who are the descendants of Aaron, the first High Priest, takes place twice a year, on Sukkot and Passover. The priestly benediction is found in Chapter 6 of the book of Numbers, where God instructs Moses to tell Aaron and his sons how to bless the Israelites.The priestly blessing is said daily during the year as part of the morning prayer service, and twice during Sabbath and holiday morning prayer services. Before saying the blessing, men from the tribe of Levi wash the hands of the kohanimREAD MORE