Play By The Rules
Tue, 12/18/2012

I read with interest the adventure and/or misadventure of Anat Hoffman at the Kotel (“Back To The Wall, But Still Fighting,” Dec. 7).

This letter is not meant to go into detail of the halachic issues of a women’s prayer group or my personal opinion of such groups; rather, it concerns following the rules. Rules for prayer near the Kotel are quite clear. There is a mechitzah (i.e. separation between men and women). Hoffman may not like the rules but these are the rules and what better way to serve a role model for the younger generation than to follow the rules and be proactive in the confines of the rules? 

I am sure there are ways to express support for Israel, both the country and the people, without spitting in the face of the rules at the Kotel. To make matters worse, Hoffman’s arrest takes away people’s focus as to what should be done at the Kotel, which is to pray to God for the health and welfare for the State of Israel and for Jews at large. 

 

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Suppose you believe the "rules" are morally wrong, like the "rules" in the South before the civil rights era, when African Americans were required to go to the back of the bus and not permitted to sit at lunch counters with whites. Don't we have an obligation to oppose such "rules"? To many people, that is what is happening at the Kotel when women are not permitted to pray there.

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