Support faltered, then rebounded, this week for Natan Sharansky’s bold plan to transform the Western Wall into a site for both traditional and alternative prayer, as the Jewish Agency chair held intense discussions with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s office, seeking to establish a timeline for the project and move it forward.
Natan Sharansky’s proposal to reduce tensions at the Western Wall has lost support from both Orthodox and non-Orthodox leaders.
When Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, made the plan public a few weeks ago, it received at least tacit approval from a range of activists, including the rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz.
The plan would expand the egalitarian section of the Western Wall Plaza – called Robinson’s Arch – and create a unified entrance to the Wall’s traditional and egalitarian sections. It was meant as a compromise between haredi Orthodox leaders who wanted to maintain exclusive control of the Western Wall, and religious pluralism activists who wanted the site opened to egalitarian prayer.
How welcome, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg’s call to Modern Orthodox leaders to speak out for a new, better order at the Kotel (“Time For Modern Orthodox Leaders To Speak Out On Kotel Proposal,” Opinion, April 26).
JERUSALEM -- Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky was given a green light by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pursue his plan for a permanent egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall.
Modern Orthodox leaders need to support Sharansky's proposal and also dissociate from the haredi Western Wall Foundation.
Rabbi Yitz Greenberg
Now that Natan Sharansky is going public with his proposal to resolve the Kotel conflict, it is time for the leadership of Modern Orthodoxy to speak out. The message should not be only support for Sharansky’s Solomonic proposal but to dissociate from the policies and tactics practiced by the haredi Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
Plan will likely face Orthodox opposition and depends on enlarging the area of the Wall dedicated to prayer.
Editor and Publisher
Charged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come up with a Solomonic solution to the growing controversy over women’s prayer at Judaism’s holiest site, Natan Sharansky, the chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, is prepared to recommend a bold plan to allow any and all Jews to pray at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
Historic proposal would be a major victory for pluralism.
Editor and Publisher
Charged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come up with a Solomonic solution to the growing controversy over women’s prayer at Judaism’s holiest site, Natan Sharansky, the chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, has prepared a bold and grand plan to allow any and all Jews to pray at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
Confronted by Sharansky, rabbi says arrests won't happen -- but police say rabbi has no authority.
Women who want to say the Mourner’s Kaddish at the Western Wall were threatened with arrest in a recent letter from the Israeli police to a women’s rights group, but both Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who runs the government body that oversees holy sites like the wall, say it will not happen.