Western Wall

Classic Sites To See - Again

Special To The Jewish Week
10/27/2009
A tourist’s first visit to Israel typically has a predictable itinerary: the Western Wall, Masada, Tel Aviv. Return visitors are often keen to experience different sites, ones they missed the first time. But in the last five years, a wide range of attractions all over Israel have undergone such extensive renovation or expansion that they are worth a repeat visit.

New Problem

12/24/2009
Staff Writer

The subject of women praying at the Kotel became an issue only after the Six-Day War of 1967 (“Guilty Of Praying,” Editorial, Dec. 11).
Looking at the early 19th-century work of the famous Charles Wilson, we see sketches depicting men praying alongside women at the Western Wall. In 1959, when I was able to visit the Kotel at the sufferance of the Jordanians, there was no distinction made between men and women praying there.

With God On His Side

A new book explores Bob Dylan’s Jewish inspiration and prophetic voice.

12/23/2009
Associate Editor

Bob Dylan showed up in Greenwich Village in 1960 dissembling tall tales of who he was, riding in as a mystic, mythic, out of the American West, one of Woody’s children, raised by Bessie Smith or Mother Goose, now you see him, now you don’t, born in a dustbowl or on the Burlington Northern, a never-ending kaleidoscope of biographical masquerade.

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Her Last Act Was A Prayer

08/22/2003
Staff Writer
Goldie Taubenfeld left her home in the upstate chasidic village of New Square last Sunday to travel to Israel to celebrate a family wedding, as many American Jews do. In tow were husband Moshe Menachem and two of their 13 children, 16-year-old daughter Batsehva and son Shmuel, barely 6 months old. On Tuesday, a day after the wedding, the 43-year-old mother brought her children to pray at the Western Wall, Judaism's umbilical cord to its Holy Temple, destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago. That was her last act.

Tunnel Vision In Jerusalem

02/20/2009
Staff Writer
In one of the last weeks before he leaves office, a tenure marked by controversy during the last three years, Israeli Prime Ehud Olmert this week toured the Western Wall and the adjacent excavations in Jerusalem’s Old City. Areas that also have been the center of controversy.

Scholars Pan Passion Play

05/05/2000
Staff Writer
With the curtain about to rise on the world's most famous Passion Play, a team of Christian and Jewish scholars is giving it a thumbs down. It's not the acting or pacing the reviewers are concerned about. Rather it's the script for the latest production of the 366-year-old Oberammergau Passion Play, produced and performed by residents of the little Bavarian town. More specifically the reviewers, brought together by the American Jewish Committee's Department of Interreligious Affairs, panned the English translation of the German text because of its anti-Jewish content.

‘Enough Is Enough’

03/01/2002
Staff Writer
Last Passover, as Jeffrey Rubin and his son Benjamin were heading for early morning prayers at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, they discussed how to help Israel as the Palestinian attacks against the nation increased. Benjamin, then a 15-year-old junior at Long Island’s Hebrew Academy for the Five Towns and Rockaway, came up with the idea to unite American yeshiva teens to show support. With the help of fellow student Baruch Danziger, they formed the National Council of Yeshivot in Support of Israel.

On Temple Mount, Past Is Prologue

01/05/2001
Staff Writer
On the eve of Yom Kippur, a dispute between two groups of Jews leads to a divider being placed at Judaism’s holiest accessible site, the western retaining wall of Herod’s Second Temple. But Muslim sheiks, who “own” the Wall, demand the divider be removed, calling it an unacceptable alteration to their site. They suspect that the Jews are trying to find a way to give the Wall the status of a synagogue “as a first step in taking it over.”

Tensions Flare At Reform Convention, Israeli ambassador walks out in anger

11/14/1997
Staff Writer
Dallas — Ambassador Eliahu Ben-Elissar had heard enough. Israel’s top representative to the United States was squirming in his seat at the Reform movement’s national convention as he listened to noted Jewish historian Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg refer to Israel’s chief rabbis as “bigots with computers” — referring to a confidential computer list they maintain of children of illegitimate unions known as “mamzerim.”

More Access To The Wall

05/26/2000
Staff Writer
Modern changes suddenly are afoot at Jerusalem’s ancient Western Wall. Two developments this week signal greater access for Jews who seek to pray in their own way at the 2,000-year-old surviving outer retaining wall of the Second Temple, Judaism’s holiest site. In a landmark decision, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled Monday that women can hold group prayer services at the Wall, wear prayer shawls, read aloud from the Torah — and must be provided police protection.
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