President Isaac Herzog takes part in the religious Hakhel ceremony, which takes place only once every seven years, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The traditional biblical ceremony – named after the Hebrew word for “gathering” and marked by the King of Israel reading the Torah aloud – was revived in the 20th century under Chief Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, grandfather of today’s President.
“I am moved to open this important event, founded by my late grandfather Yitzhak Isaac HaLevi Herzog, which all of Israel’s chief rabbis have had the privilege of observing,” Herzog said. “From here, I pray that the spirit of this occasion will remain before our eyes at all times, as a nation and as a state. May we and the entire House of Israel – together – deserve a good and blessed year and happy holidays.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides also attended the ceremony.