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Thursday, April 11, 2013 

Kotel's police once again make needless arrests as part of a ludicrous notion of how to conduct law there

I may not dig the Reform movement, but I don't see their prayer customs as justifying an arrest either. While only a few women were arrested, it's still a major embarrassment, and even Natan Sharansky was willing to admit that:
The arrest of five tallitot-wearing woman at the Western Wall on Thursday morning is yet another reminder of the urgent need to reach a permanent solution to the issue, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky said.

The Western Wall must return to being "a symbol of unity among the Jewish people, and not one of discord and strife," he said.

Police arrested five women on Thursday morning for wearing tallitot (prayer shawls) traditionally worn by men, while participating in a Rosh Hodesh prayer service at the Western Wall attended by some 200 women.

Among those arrested was Director of the Women of the Wall, Lesley Sachs. Meretz MK Tamar Sandberg accompanied Sachs after her arrest.

Police released the women later Thursday without condition. [...]

Chiming in on the matter, Meretz MK Michal Rozin said that the fact that a haredi rabbi decides what the customs of the site are must be changed in order to stop arrests.
Much as I don't like Meretz either, he's right - the specific Haredi man running the scene is a disgrace, because he's already hinted he doesn't respect other Judaist sects, and has shown no concern about the Temple Mount as history.
Western Wall and Holy Sites Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz expressed regret over what he called the women's "provocation."

The rabbi said the women's actions breached the court's decision and disturbed others praying at the Kotel. He added that the fact that they were continuing to act in this way despite the compromise proposed by Sharansky was "clear evidence that their purpose it so stir controversy and hurt other people's feelings while increasing polarization among the people and turning the Kotel into a battlefield of fanaticism."
But he won't admit he's capable as a Haredi of making mistakes and treating the women as inferior, will he? I don't have a very high opinion of him. I won't deny that the WoW could be "provoking", but his objections to their prayers there are for all the wrong reasons: if they're going vocal at the top of their lungs, being so loud you can't hear yourself think, that's a legitimate concern. But if they're sounding off in a decent tone, that's not a problem. So I'd suggest he quit with his bigotry against other religious sects, since it's a very poor example for a follower of Judaism.

Update: The Jewish Journal has some very harsh words for Rabinowitz.

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