Girls doing the bidding of Shas prove themselves worse than Women of the Wall
Thousands of young seminary girls mobilized by Shas, the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox party, filled the women’s prayer section of the Western Wall Friday morning ostensibly to pray for the recuperation of their leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.On the one hand, they violated the phrase "those who seek to shame their neighbor will not have a good place in the next world." On the other, they made things even more unpleasant for even male worshipers. If I were there and heard all that commotion, I'd be more disgusted than I am right now. Making death wishes and other obnoxious chants goes completely against what Judaism is all about. Those Haredi students who uttered the horrific chants have only succeeded in compounding the already negative vision people have of Haredis, including women. I can only wonder what would happen if the WotW were black. Would the students even use racist chants? If they did, they'd be desecrating the memory of biblical Tzipporah.
But hundreds of them, rather than pray, chose to encircle participants in the monthly Women of the Wall Rosh Chodesh service and taunt them while the worshippers recited their prayers.
This was in blatant defiance of a plea made the previous day by Shmuel Rabinovitch, the rabbi of the Western Wall, urging those coming to the holy site to refrain from any confrontations with the women’s prayer group. Rabinovitch said such confrontations were the “greatest desecration of the name of God.”
[...] Busloads of young seminary girls from all around the country began pouring into the area at about 6 A.M. The girls were not accompanied by their teachers or any adult supervisors.
During the prayer service, the young seminary girls were overheard shouting the following at participants in the Women of the Wall prayer service:
“You are garbage.”
“You are wicked.”
“You are men, not women. Why don’t you grow beards and move over to the men’s section?”
“You should burn.”
One young girl was overheard suggesting to a friend: “Let’s stone them.”
Many of the young girls stood on chairs, laughing and pointing in the direction of the women’s prayer group throughout the service. Whenever Women of the Wall participants would begin singing their prayers out loud, the young girls would shout and jeer in an effort to drown them out.
Several older ultra-Orthodox women were seen approaching the girls and trying to call them to order, warning them that the nearby television cameras were recording their actions. But to no avail.
I can only say that, if this is what happened, they will be leading examples of women who'll end up being judged by the Almighty for trashing everything Judaism is all about. Non-Haredis aren't causing any of this chaos; it's only the Haredis who are. According to this:
According to a Walla news report, several ultra-Orthodox men clashed with the group after they concluded their prayer service. The men were removed from the Western Wall Plaza by policemen at the scene. One haredi youth was arrested for spitting at the women and throwing objects at them. No injuries were reported from the incident.If they have to languish in a jail cell, they too deserves whatever they get. They shouldn't even be allowed to enter the plaza ever again. The Wall is a place for worship, not for harrassing.
Here's an op-ed from a few weeks ago by a Conservative Judaist named David Breakstone about some history of all this.
Update: JTA says this was the calmest service in recent months, with little police protection needed. If so, then Haaretz may have exaggerated the scenario, though even a small bunch of ruffians can be an embarrassment, and negative sentiments by bad Haredi sects towards non-Haredis have long been something realists are aware of.