With so much to do in Jerusalem on Chol Hamoed Sukkot, it is hard to find the time and energy to keep up.
There is certainly too much to share in one post today.
However, one of the main events in Jerusalem, Israel, is the Sukkot holiday Birkat Kohanim at the Kotel, the Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall.
A crowd with tens of thousands of people packed into the Kotel Plaza on Wednesday morning.
But to get to the Kotel this year was really aliyah l’regel. With streets in the Old City closed to cars and the shuttle from First Station only starting at 10:00 am – it was walk up or go home.
So people walked up the mountain path toward Zion Gate.
The view was quite impressive, the sky was bright blue, and it was a lovely time to walk in Jerusalem.
On the way, you pass a memorial stone for fallen soldier Shlomo Cohen.
Families were walking together, as were these two young women carrying lulavim.
One man was walking alone talking on his phone. So many people were coming and going on a road usually full of cars to the Old City.
And a few people stopped to rest along the way.
How do they count so many people walking in and out of the Old City?
It had been a few years since I was at the Kotel for Sukkot Birkat Kohanim.
But I wasn’t going to miss a chance to watch from the roof of the Aish HaTorah building.
People stood at every vantage point above the Kotel Plaza.
It was nice to see from above and not be packed into the crowd below.
Some people decided to listen from a shady location just outside the entrance and not come and stand in the sun-filled crowded Plaza.
Crowd control has greatly improved in the past 10 years, with marked exits.
What a crowd, so many people wanting to be in a small space!
Of course from my vantage point on the rooftop location, I took zoom shots.
‘Selfies’- on the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock in the background.
A group of Jewish tourists walked above as the prayers were said below.
Sukkot prayer in front of a model of the Jewish Temple on the Aish roof.
A woman above on a roof in the Old City unfurled an Israeli flag.
Everywhere, all around, people and sukkot!
And at night the Kotel Plaza was packed again with tens of thousands for the Remember Hakel event, to mark the special Torah reading once every seven years at the end of the Shemita cycle.
Sukkot in Jerusalem was such a colorful time again this year in 5783.
The Israeli President’s Residence reception on Sukkot to the public had some colorful moments, but more on that later. Off now to more events before the holiday week is over, which I plan to share next time.
My video from the Birkat Kohanim on Wednesday.
What a colorful week, with so much happening on the Jerusalem streets!