Women Of The Wall Leader Arrested For Singing At Western Wall
10/17/12
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Jerusalem police arrested the leader of Women of the Wall for singing at the Western Wall.

Anat Hoffman was arrested Tuesday evening for “disturbing public order.” The organization posted on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon that Hoffman was in court. "She is being accused of singing out loud at the kotel, disturbing peace," the post read.

Two other members of the organization, Director Lesley Sachs and board member Rachel Cohen Yeshurun, were detained Wednesday morning by police for the same offense. They were released after being interrogated and fingerprinted at the police station in the Old City. According to the organization, the women admitted to wearing a prayer shawl at the Western Wall but not to disturbing public order.

Women of the Wall has held a special prayer service at the Western Wall each month for Rosh Chodesh, or the beginning of new month, at the back of the women's section at the Western Wall for the last 20 years. Tuesday night and Wednesday morning's prayer services for the month of Cheshvan were scheduled to be held together with delegates to the conference marking Hadassah's 100th birthday.

Hoffman was arrested Tuesday night after she had begun singing the "Shema" prayer, according to Haaretz.

In 2003, Israel's Supreme Court upheld a government ban on women wearing tefillin or tallitot, or reading from a Torah scroll at the Western Wall.

In August, Jerusalem police arrested four women for “behavior that endangers the public peace” and wearing prayer shawls. They were forbidden to enter the Western Wall Plaza for the next 50 days, according to the organization.

In June, Israeli police detained a woman wearing a tallit at the Western Wall and later questioned her for four hours after asking her to wear her prayer shawl as a scarf. In May, three women from Women of the Wall were stopped for questioning after praying at the Wall in prayer shawls. They also had been asked to wear the tallitot as scarves rather than shawls.

Last Update:

10/30/2012 - 20:55

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This is DISGRACEFUL! I thought "discrimination" wasn't allowed in Israel!

When will it stop? When will the courts stop pandering to such intolerance? And when will it be recognized that for the largest part of its history, the wall was open to all? Its hijacking by those who crave power in the name of religion do not in any sense represent the values of Judiasm.

What's outrageous is this woman's total disregard of the religious sensitivities of 99% of the Daveners (those who pray) at the Kotel.

The thousands of daily Daveners at the Kotel only wish to pray without sideshows in a halachicly correct manner as practiced by hundreds of thousands of Jews at this holy site for two thousand years.

As is well known, a dignified more private location - further down south from the large prayer area and near Robinson;s Arch was made available for alternative egalitarian prayer services. This area is also part of the Kotel and was the spot of an actual entrance to the Temple Mount during the Second Temple times.

This group has no use for such a place because they seek only to incite and cause unneeded strife at Judaism's most sacred location.

(This is no way excuses any abuse by the police.)

This is NOT about "religious sensitivities!" It's about freedom to practice Judaism the way you want to, and this woman did NOTHING wrong!

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