Poster Announcing Priestly Blessing, Jerusalem
The Priestly Blessing on the Festival
Together with tens of thousands of the people of Israel, who will gather next to the Western Wall, a remnant of the temple,
On Monday of Chol Hamoed Nissan 19,
Join us to pray musaf, in the multitude of people is the glory of God
Multitudes of Kohanim will raise their hands and bless the nation of God.
Shacharit at 7:45 exactly * Priestly Blessing of Shacharit at 8:30
Musaf at 9:15 * Priestly Blessing of Musaf at 9:30 exactly
We request that all the Kohanim in our country try to come and bless the nation of God
This is a poster announcing to the public a large public gathering at the Kotel (Western Wall) during Pesach for the Priestly Blessing. The poster references the quote from the Torah that “in the multitude of people is the glory of God,” a quote used to support the principle of many people praying together.
The Priestly Blessing (Birkat Kohanim) is a prayer recited in synagogue by the Kohanim, the descendants of Aaron, traditionally believed to have chosen by God to serve as priests. At the time of the temple, the Kohanim were responsible for the service in the temple. The Kohanim, with arms raised, recite this blessing of peace that appears in Bamidbar (Numbers) 6: 23-27:
May God bless you and guard you
May God make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you –
May God lift up His face unto you and give you peace
The tradition of large public Priestly Blessings started in 1970 and has taken place ever since during Chol Hamoed (the intermediate days) of Pesach and Sukkot. Tens of thousands of people, both Kohanim and others, participate in this special ceremony.
Connection to Parashat Naso
In Parashat Naso, God commands Moses to recite the precise text of the priestly blessing to his brother, Aharon, and all of Aharon’s sons. In Israel this blessing, comprising just three sentences, is recited by the Kohanim every morning; outside of Israel, it is only said on festivals. In giving God’s blessing, the Kohanim become the servants of God and are required to feel love for the congregation they are blessing.
Jewish Studies and Bible teachers can use this poster to discuss the Priestly Blessing and the role of the Kohanim in the temple and today. Religious Studies teachers can also use this when discussing the concept of blessing.
This source can also be used in Jewish History lessons to discuss the centrality of the Kotel to Judaism over the years.
What is this poster advertising?
When did the event take place?
Who was invited to the event?
Where did the event take place?
Reading Between the Lines
What is the source of this custom?
Why did this event take place during Pesach?
Why would this event be advertised so widely?
Who might have come to the event?
Why was it important to have many people at the event?
Does this event still take place today in Israel?
Have you ever been to this event? If so, how did you feel?
Why do you think this event takes place at the Kotel?
Write a Facebook post from the perspective of someone who has just visited the Western Wall for the first time and witnessed the blessing of the Cohanim.
Write your own blessing for your community, family, Jewish people or Israel.