Jerusalem the fifth day of the festival of Sukkot. Jews from across the world took part in the bi-annual “birkat kohanim” or “priestly blessings,” which take place during Sukkot and Pesach (Passover). The service saw thousands of kohanim – members of the priestly families of Israel – bless the gathered crowd in a show of unity and celebration. The tradition of holding a mass event at the Western Wall began after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, an initiative of a local Hasidic rabbi, Menachem Mendel Gefner. It is usually held on the second of Sukkot’s intermediate days, in order to allow Jews visiting Israel from abroad to participate, since they treat the first intermediate day as a Sabbath-like holiday. This year, however, the second intermediate day was on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, so it was moved to Sunday, or the third intermediate day.