The biannual priestly blessing took place on Monday morning at the Kotel (the Western Wall) in Jerusalem. Tens of thousands of people gathered to receive the Biblically mandated blessing from hundreds of Kohanim (Jewish men descended from Aaron the Priest), one of whom was the US Ambassador to Israel.
David Melech Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel and an Orthodox Jew, attended the event. Freidman told Kan News that he came to the ceremony with his son and grandson, all of whom are Kohanim. The three members of the Friedman priestly clan also attended the mass event on Sukkoth, presumably to bless Israel.
Friedman’s middle name means ‘king’ an obvious reference to the Biblical David.
Normally said during morning prayers in synagogues in Israel on a much more modest scale, this spectacular recreation of what once took place in the Temple is held twice a year: on intermittent weekdays of Passover and Sukkot. On Monday, the blessing was said twice: once during the morning prayers and again during the additional prayers symbolizing the additional sacrifice that was brought in the Temple on each of the intermittent days.
The video below was posted by Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a Likud Member of Knesset and long-time Temple Mount activist.
The blessing is performed by the priests holding their hands up with the fingers of both hands separated so as to make five spaces between them; spaces are between the ring finger and middle finger of each hand, between the index finger and thumb of each hand, and the two thumbs touch each other at the knuckle.
The priests then recite Numbers 6:23-27:
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.