« Home | Shas party's pretentious Aryeh Deri goes blatherin... » | A doctor you should never turn to for treatment » | The Islamist dominated Syrian "National" Council » | Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg's attacker has been indicte... » | Ultra-Orthodox women step up, voice their displeas... » | Even now, we can't think Obama suddenly likes Isra... » | In some Haredi communities, the wife is scapegoate... » | Does Sen. Feinstein really think crooks would retu... » | The reasons why Chuck Hagel would make a bad defen... » | Ehud Barak approves of turning Ariel college into ... » 

Thursday, December 27, 2012 

Netanyahu asks for review of restrictive policy on women's prayers at Kotel

This is surely a good idea, since it could help to dislodge an issue that we'd be better off not having to worry about:
JERUSALEM—Amid outrage across the Jewish diaspora over Israel’s flurry of recent arrests of women seeking to pray at the Western Wall with ritual garments — in defiance of Israeli law — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency, to study the issue and suggest ways to make the site more accommodating to all Jews.

The move comes after more than two decades of civil disobedience by a group called Women of the Wall against regulations, legislation and a 2003 Israeli Supreme Court ruling that allow for gender division at the wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, and prohibit women from carrying a Torah or wearing prayer shawls there.

Although the movement has struggled to gain traction in Israel, where the ultra-Orthodox retain great sway over public life, the issue has deepened a divide between the Jewish state and the Jewish diaspora at a time when Israel is battling international isolation over its settlement policy. Critics, particularly leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements in the United States, complain that the government’s recent aggressive enforcement of restrictions at the wall has turned a national monument into an ultra-Orthodox synagogue.

“The prime minister thinks the Western Wall has to be a site that expresses the unity of the Jewish people, both inside Israel and outside the state of Israel,”
Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s senior adviser, said in an interview Tuesday. “He wants to preserve the unity of world Jewry. This is an important component of Israel’s strength.”
There's definitely something to this. The Haredi-controlled foundation that runs the Western Wall has become alarmingly corrupt, and the biggest irony is that the people in charge are probably no better than the Reform movement themselves.
Sharansky said the Jewish Agency itself stopped having ceremonies for new immigrants in the plaza about two years ago after the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which controls the site, said men and women could not sit together. Under pressure from the international groups that provide its financing, the agency on Oct. 30 passed a resolution calling for a “satisfactory approach to the issue of prayer at the Western Wall.”

Asked whether he could imagine a day when women could wear prayer shawls and read Torah at the wall itself, Sharansky said, “I imagine very easily a situation where everybody will have their opportunity to express their solidarity with Judaism and the Jewish people and the state of Israel in a way he or she wants, without undermining the other.”
No matter how disapproving I am of the Reform sect because of their dreadful stance on Zionism, barring them from the Wall the way they are wouldn't do anything to encourage them to revise their positions.

As far as reading from a Torah scroll is concerned, I don't think it's an abomination for a woman to read and study one. If women respect the Torah in itself, that's surely got to be a good thing. The question is if Reform Jews actually respect God's granting of Israel to the Jewish people, and Zionism is synonymous with patriotism, so where do they stand on that? That's one problem I have with the Reform movement - whether they actually do support stuff like that or not. Beyond that, if they want to have the right to conduct their prayers in the Western Wall plaza just like Orthodox, I can respect that. I just hope that if Netanyahu and Sharansky's efforts bear fruit, they'll be grateful for it.

And the would-be rabbis who're undermining the immigration ceremonies at the Wall need to consider the message they're sending to newcomers in Israel.

Update: here's a Jerusalem Post article by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi on the subject.

Update 2: here's another op-ed on Israel National News by Rochel Sylvetsky that tells that women actually are allowed to wear tallis and certainly to hold Torah scrolls.

Labels: , , ,

Links to this post

Create a Link

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile



    avigreen2002@yahoo.com About profile Gab page Minds page

      I also contribute to

    • The Astute Bloggers
    • Infidel Bloggers Alliance
    • Which also includes (open menu)

      My other sites

    • The Four Color Media Monitor
    • The Comic Book Discrimination Dossiers
    • Hawkfan
    • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
    • The Outer Observatory
    • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
    • Puzzle Paradise
    • The Co-Stars Primer
    • Cinema Capsule Cavalcade
    • Food Diner
    • News/Opinion sites (open menu)

      Writers and special activity groups (open menu)

      Media Watchdogs (open menu)

      Columnist bloggers (open menu)

      Research on terrorism (open menu)

      Milbloggers (open menu)

      Trackback parties (open menu)

      Trackback tools

    • Wizbang Standalone pinger
    • Other bloggers: Israel and Asia (open menu)

      Other bloggers: Europe (open menu)

      Other bloggers: American continent (open menu)

      Museum sites (open menu)

      Bloggeries Blog Directory blog directory Top Blogs Politics blogs Politics Blogs
      Politics blog TopOfBlogs
      All Politic Sites Society blog Blog Directory & Search engine blog directory View My Stats


    • W3 Counter stats
    • GoStats charts
    • Click here to see website statistics
    • eXTReMe Tracker Locations of visitors to this page

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

Tel-Chai Nation is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.