Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Other Women of the Wall

Women of the Wall
I think this woman makes a very important point. I'ts not only about demanding your own rights. It's also about respecting the rights of others. From the Jerusalem Post:

Before my first trip to Israel in 1977, the Reform Movement, which sponsored the trip, told the girls to pack a wrap skirt in their backpacks, so they could cover themselves at Jewish and Christian holy sites. When I came back in 1981 having spent my sophomore year attending an egalitarian minyan and reading from the Torah, I still kept a wrap skirt in my backpack so I could cover my shorts when I ventured into Geula or spent a Shabbat with Ger hassidim in Bnei Brak. When my daughter asked for special vegetables during the last shmita year, I took a bus to a distant makolet every week for a year to accommodate her.

My dear sisters, I love you and so do all the women with whom I prayed at the Kotel on Rosh Hodesh Sivan. All of us were heartbroken to see the riots, and I for one wish I could have protected you from the mob. I was disgusted at the hilul Hashem, and not one person I know feels differently.

Tolerance works both ways, and so does respect. It doesn’t matter whether you understand why some Jews are devastated when they see you praying.

Where is our right not to have you pray at the Kotel in this manner? By your insistence on moving from Robinson’s Arch to the Kotel, you are literally preventing thousands of Jews, many of whom have gone daily to the Kotel for years and years, from praying.

It’s not just a matter of “you do your thing and I’ll do mine.”

There is only one Kotel, and unfortunately there cannot be a win-win situation. I have absolutely no doubt that your prayer comes from the purest place. I know you are sincere and that you yearn for connection with Hashem as strongly as we do. But we all learned when we were toddlers that sometimes we don’t get what we want.

There is something called “compromise” in this world.

For the sake of Jewish unity – yes, your praying at the Kotel is doing more to splinter the Jewish people than any “fanatical” protests are – please discontinue your insistence on praying your way at the Kotel. There will be no place under the tent for us if you insist on your “rights.”

Please think twice about all those you are hurting by your actions.

The Book of Numbers is filled with census after census of the Jewish people. Long lists of names are recorded. The 12 princes all bring the same sacrifice, yet the Torah mentions each and every one of them individually. This is because each and every Jew is precious to Hashem. But we have to accommodate each other.

The Kotel issue is a biggie.

Worship however you want elsewhere, but please give us the same consideration as most Orthodox people give you. The chair-throwers are but a small fraction of our population. If you are as sincere about your love for Hashem as I know you are, then extend that love to include all of His children. Allow us to uphold the status quo at the Kotel.


  1. Sorry, this is just ridiculous. No one is prevented from davening at the kotel by the WotW. And blaming the WotW for the divisiveness is like blaming the blacks for the civil unrest that occurred when they were fighting to be treated equally.

    The kotel does not belong to the chareidim.

  2. It's so interesting that someone who is not Orthodox, like the woman who wrote this article understands and respects the sensibilities of the vast majority of women who are very uncomfortable with images like the one in this post. WoW may have a right to look like that at the Kotel, but they ought to express some understanding about why some people are upset at it instead of constantly asserting their own rights.

    1. I know her. She absolutely is Orthodox now, but wasn't raised Orthodox.

  3. I doubt this woman is not Orthodox. She says she used to be Reform. Judging from what I can find out about her online and how she keeps referring to "us" and "we", I believe she is Orthodox.

  4. I've been to the kotel on Rosh Chodesh morning, and have seen women continue to daven during Women of the Wall tefilot. Except for this past month when the ezrat nashim was filled before WoW were scheduled to arrive, women not part of WoW would daven at the front, close to the wall, and WoW would daven in the back.

    At the most recent Rosh Chodesh, the Women for the Wall event also called for women opposed to come to daven and say tehillim at the same time as WoW.

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