THOUSANDS OF JEWS GATHER TO PRAY AT JERUSALEM HOLY SITE - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/24/2002 - Jerusalem

THOUSANDS OF JEWS GATHER TO PRAY AT JERUSALEM HOLY SITE

Thousands of Jews gathered yesterday in Jerusalem to attend the Priestly Blessing at Judaism's holiest site.

The paved prayer area in front of the Western Wall is the last remnant of the second Jewish Temple that was destroyed by Rome in the first century. The blessing is performed three times a year -- during Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of Weeks -- by male Jews who can trace their lineage to the priestly caste.

Jews named Cohen, which means priest in Hebrew, are considered descendants of the Temple's high priest and have special obligations and privileges.

The priestly blessing attracts both worshipers and tourists, so security was tight with hundreds of police and soldiers standing guard in the area.

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