The organization Kav Lachayim helped 22 sick children celebrate their bar and bat mitzvahs at the Kotel on Monday.
Nine boys and 13 girls from all around Israel came to Jerusalem's Old City, together with their families, mentors and assistants, in order to accept the mitzvot and responsibilities of being full-fledged Jews.
The festivities began with a joyful procession in wheelchairs and crutches through the Zion Gate and into the Jewish Quarter. The celebrants were accompanied by drums, shofars, musical instruments and excited Breslover hassidim.
As they entered the Hurva synagogue, the boys were given aliyot to the Torah and then the girls held a ceremony in which they separated challah together.
The excitement reached its peak as soldiers from the IDF's Golani Brigade, who were on a patrol nearby, decided to join. They danced with the children around the Cardo square and even accompanied some up to the Torah.
Afterwards, everyone went to pray at the Kotel and returned for a feast at the Cardo. The meal was accompanied by dancing and emotional blessings from the children and their parents, all of whom sincerely thanked Kav Lachayim for its work.
Each of the boys received an elegant set of tallit and tefillin, a siddur and cologne. The girls received a gold chain, a siddur and perfume.
Rina Idan, the head of Kav Lachayim, thanked the volunteers for their efforts and stated that this is the most exciting event she experiences each year.
Kav Lachayim helps sick children, most of whom are in hospitals in Israel's periphery, in order to make their lives easier and to help them achieve their dreams.