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Friday, March 15, 2013 

Rabbi in charge of Western Wall incites, all because of Women of the Wall

Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Haredi rabbi running the Western Wall as though it had always been a Haredi synagogue, says a few things that remind me of how some Islamists talk:
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites of Israel, is sharpening his tone against the Women of the Wall, warning that the monthly prayers held by the liberal Jewish group at the Jerusalem holy site may lead to a war between brothers.

Earlier this week, the Women of the Wall were joined by female Knesset members who prayed at the Western Wall wearing prayer shawls. The rabbi defined the incident as "a difficult sight which has not been seen at the Western Wall plaza since its liberation."
What's so difficult? To accept that even Jewish sects we may not think much of because of their questionable stand on Zionism are praying there? If they were committing physical acts of vandalism, that would be cause for concern. But Women of the Wall were not, they were only leading a prayer session in their own custom (Reform), so young master Rabinowitz might want to stop acting like such a toddler and make a mountain out of a molehill.

He also doesn't seem to realize that when Jordan reigned over the Old City, they wouldn't allow Jews to pray there at all. To think that the Western Wall was liberated to serve only as a place that people like him could determine who's worthy to attend. And to think that Yigal Alon handed the keys to the Temple Mount over to the Islamic Wakf after the 6 Day War, which is even worse.
According to Rabinowitz, the women "chose to turn the Western Wall into a protest site, and bring brothers against brother to create an unnecessary conflict."

He said that their activity at the women's section offended worshippers and was done in violation of a High Court ruling and the opinion of the attorney general, which stated that they can pray according to their practice at the nearby Robinson's Arch site.
As far I can tell, the only people offended were the Haredis themselves. Earth to those "cultural sensitivists": the Wall didn't collapse, and it's not solely Haredi property. The only people threatening war here are you.

In fairness, I'll admit that the violation of the court ruling is something to ponder, but then, so is the degrading way Rabinowitz is behaving, as though people of his standing are literally qualified to maintain the Wall, when it's clear they are not.

This op-ed in Israel HaYom gives some pretty good insight into the legal situation, and also brings up the case of how, despite a court ruling that surprisingly favored the Jews who wish to pray on the Temple Mount, the police have repeatedly opposed it and even sought to impose thought control on people who want to go up there. Which is atrocious, of course.

And at the same time, funny how the same rabbi who's in charge of the Western Wall area makes no attempt to help the Jews who want to pray on the Temple Mount, which could at least lend him some credibility, though not enough. One can only wonder if he doesn't have the courage to fight for his country in its entirety. The irony is how there's a clash between two potentially anti-Zionist groups here.

The Women of the Wall might be committing a provocation (and they should have appealed the initial ruling, if they didn't before), but if the Haredis didn't make such a fuss over it, they wouldn't get the results they might be hoping for. All I can say is, thanks very much to those Haredi domineers for going miles out of their way to make the left-wing Knesset members who took part look like the righteous ones. If anything, I'm glad quite a few Orthodox women took part in ensuring the safety of the Women of the Wall from such a nasty bunch who truly have no respect for Judaism, any more than the Women of the Wall might.

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  • 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.
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