Thursday, May 9, 2013

Women of the Wall hope to avoid showdown at historic Kotel prayer service

Haaretz   Anticipating provocations by ultra-Orthodox individuals and groups at their monthly prayer service at the Western Wall on Friday, Women of the Wall have instructed supporters and activists planning to participate in the event not to “engage in conflict – verbal or physical” with any of the protesters. 

Ultra-Orthodox protesters have made a practice in recent months of taunting the women as they approach the Western Wall plaza on their way to the women’s section and jeering loudly at them during their prayer service from across the barrier separating the men and women’s sections. The protests are expected to grow even louder tomorrow, following the recent landmark ruling by the Jerusalem District Court that it is not a violation of “local custom” for women to wear prayer shawls at the Western Wall. 

As opposed to instructions delivered in previous months, participants in Friday morning’s service have been told to arrive at the Western Wall already wearing their prayers shawls. Until now, police had acted on the assumption that it was a violation of “local custom” for women to wear prayer shawls at the wall, routinely detaining those who engaged in this practice. In a posting on their Facebook page, Women of the Wall said they did not foresee “problems with police” this month.  [...]

An unusually large group of women is expected to participate in tomorrow morning’s event, many joining the service as an act of solidarity with the women’s organization, whose cause has become a rallying point for advocates of Jewish pluralism worldwide. Typically, several hundred women have participated in the service, which is held on the first day of the Jewish month, known as Rosh Chodesh. 

This could end up being not only the first but also the last time in the foreseeable future that the women’s prayer group will be able to hold its service without participants being ushered away by police. Earlier this week, it was reported that Minister of Religious Affairs Naftali Bennett plans to present new regulations for Jewish holy places that could restrict the right of Women of the Wall to pray as they see fit in the future.[...]


  1. If they religious Jews were smart they would have ignored the group from the start and with no publicity it would have fizzled out within a few months.

    1. Yeah. Right. Like Reform fizzled out? If only it were that simple, but I really don't think you are correct. The woman behind this had bigger goals than just wearing some tefillin at a wall. And that is precisely why she could never be ignored.

  2. Recipients and PublicityMay 9, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Women of the wall are off the wall.

    They may be very sincere people, but right now they are acting like provocateurs.

    What are they trying to prove in any case?

    In the Bais Hamikdosh itself, about half the ground space was know as the "Ezrat Nashim" (Women's section) allotted for women to use at certain times, so they are fighting a futile battle.

    Have they ever stopped to look at who most of the hundreds of thousands of people are who come to regularly pray at the Kotel really are??? They are almost all Charedim and Religious Zionist and religious Jews of all stripes.

    Why do they want to ruin the religious life of so many others?

    It all sounds so very selfish.

    1. Wow!! Such a short reply, for a big-shot like you, who writes long megilas about everyone in politics.

    2. throwing rocks at women praying at the Kotel - so this is the only kind of fight that Haredim can stomach, and have plenty of free time to organise for. But if they are called to defend agasint armed terrorists they will busrt out in tears and call it shmad.

    3. I agree with RAP.The letter with the Haskomos are on Dorit's Facebook page for Thursday.I tried to copy and paste it but could not.It isn't going.


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