Among the traditional knitted and velvet kippas of those praying at the men’s section of the Western Wall last night, one particular group stood out with their Harley-Davidson leather vests and black bandanas.

An Israeli group of Harley-Davidson riders made their annual trip to Jerusalem as part of the traditional pilgrimage that members of the motorcycle club make to the Western Wall each year before Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Holding onto their helmets and prayer books, the bikers arrived from all over Israel to pray at the Kotel (Western Wall) on Sunday.

The group attracted the attention of hundreds of Jewish worshipers who converged at the Kotel to recite prayers for forgiveness and mercy, known as Selichot, during the days leading up to Yom Kippur. Hearing the roar of the Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the bikers were greeted by applause, camera flashes and selfie requests.

“We came to pray for forgiveness, health, and happiness for our family, friends and all of the people of Israel,” Arik Eliovich told Tazpit News Agency.

“It’s always amazing to ride through Jaffa Gate and go to the Kotel during this time of year,” added Eliovich, who hails from Tel Aviv and drove to Jerusalem with his wife, Mazal.

The couple have been riding motorcycles for 36 years, traveling throughout Israel and a bit abroad as well.

The Elioviches are members of Israel’s Harley Davidson Club, which is open to anyone who owns a Harley. According to Arik, there are about 170 members in the club. Throughout the year, the bikers participate in different group excursions, such as the recent Rosh Hashana motorcycle ride to ancient Masada, where the bikers welcomed the first day of the Jewish New Year.

In Israel, there are approximately 800 owners of the iconic American Harley motorcycle, which was first manufactured in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1903.

By: Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency


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