Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lead Story From Arutz Sheva / Israel National

Photo Essay:

Rabbis and Kabbalists Lead Thousands In Prayer

17:27 Jul 26, '06 / 1 Av 5766

by: Baruch Gordon
Photos by Josh Shamsi

Thousands of Jews turned out at prayer vigils on Tuesday to entreat the G-d of Israel to protect and defend the Jewish State. Arutz Sheva presents pictures from the gathering at the Western Wall.
Tuesday marked the eve of a new Hebrew month - the month of Av - a day that is traditionally set aside for special prayer. The massive attacks on Israel's civilian population and army along the Lebanese border in the north and the border with Gaza in the south brought out Jews of all types to pour out their hearts in supplication. The main vigil was held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem at 5:30 PM, led by the Chief Rabbis of the State of Israel and other leading Rabbinic figures. Earlier at the Wall, Rabbi Daniel Dov HaCohen Stavsky gathered together 400 worshippers to recite the special Tikun Hatzot [Midnight Rectification] prayer. Throughout the year, the Tikun Hatzot is recited exclusively after midnight, but according to a tradition instituted by the father of modern Kabbalah, the late Rabbi Yitzhak Luria of Tzfat, it is to be recited in the afternoon during the three weeks leading up to the Ninth of Av. This day of traditional Jewish mourning commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples. The 400 participants recited Tikun Hatzot with their shoes removed and seated on low stools or on the ground, as is customary for mourners. At the gravesite of the Talmudic Sage Rabban Gamliel in the southern town of Yavneh (near Ashdod), the Kabbalist Elder Rabbi Eliyahu Leon Levi gathered several hundred people to recite Psalms and another two special prayers: Tikun Rosh Hodesh [New Month Rectification] and Tikun HaYesod [Rectification of Sexual Transgression], both prayers instituted by the famous Kabbalist, the late Rabbi Yosef Chaim (Ben Ish Chai) of Iraq. At nightfall, a large crowd participated in the traditional march around the former gates to the Holy Temple in the Old City of Jerusalem, an event that is held near the eve of a new Hebrew month.

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