Behind Police Barrier, Women Of The Wall Raise Scroll
08/07/13
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Women of the Wall blew a shofar at the back of the Western Wall Plaza and raised a Torah scroll at the plaza’s gate under a heavy police barricade.

The police shielded the the estimated 300 women and their male supporters on Wednesday morning at the back of the plaza, facing the wall but distant from it, during Women of the Wall’s monthly Rosh Chodesh service.

As many as six layers of fencing, a 15-foot buffer zone and two lines of police separated the group from a crowd of mostly haredi Orthodox protesters who blew whistles, screamed and chanted insults. In the men’s section of the plaza, a man chanted prayers and psalms into a megaphone, disrupting the women’s monthly Rosh Chodesh service.

As in recent months, thousands of mostly haredi Orthodox girls and young women packed the plaza adjacent to the wall and prayed quietly during the morning.

Women of the Wall has not been allowed to bring a Torah scroll into their monthly service, but before entering the plaza, the group sang together as one woman held a scroll aloft at the plaza’s gate.

By the time Anat Hoffman, the group’s chairwoman, blew the shofar at the end of the service, most of the protesters had dispersed.

Following the service, Hoffman said in a statement, “We will not forget that the Torah is exiled from the Western Wall, due to the discriminatory misuse of power by Rabbi [Shmuel] Rabinowitz,” the rabbi of the Western Wall.

Women of the Wall gathers at the beginning of each Jewish month for a women’s Rosh Chodesh prayer service at the wall. Members had been arrested in the past for wearing prayer shawls due to a law forbidding any practice that falls outside of the wall’s “local custom.”In April, a judge determined that the group’s activities did not contravene the law. Since then, none of the women has been arrested.

Last month, the women were barricaded in the plaza’s corner, far from the wall and next to a public restroom.

editor@jewishweek.org

Last Update:

08/18/2013 - 20:10

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Israel is making a major effort to portray itself as a democracy.
Elections are held every 4 years, freedom of speech enables to bring these reports to the world, yet – the spirit of democracy had never sunk into the Israeli way of life.

The very fact the "Wall women" had to wait 24 years in order to have " As many as six layers of fencing, a 15-foot buffer zone and two lines of police" in order to separate the group from a crowd of violent Orthodox says it all.

In a conversation I had held years ago with the late minister of police (internal security) Gideon Ezra, after Orthodox Jews stopped violently earth moving works on highway 6 Mr. Ezra said to me: " I do not believe in arrests and harsh measures. We'll negotiate for another week".

It has been an Israeli policy all along the years, which had encouraged violence in the name of the "Jewish religion",

A reminder: Those responsible for the death of David Polombo had never put to trial.
David Polombo was a contemporary sculptor. The gates of the Knesset and those of the hall of remembrance in Yad Vashem were designed by him.

He was killed in a motorcycle accident, when hitting a chain stretched across a Jerusalem street by orthodox serving in the ministry of religious affairs. The chain was not authorized, unmarked, not illuminated, and intended to impose illegally the observing of Sabbath on local drivers.

The Wall Women report is only one small piece of a huge jig-saw puzzle of violations of the law and abuse of democracy in the name of the "Jewish religion."

This article is biased and filled with so many errors I don't know where to begin.So what if the Torah was raised at the plaza gate.Is that some sort of new ritual? There is a raising of the Torah after the reading called "Hagbah". The Torah was never read by WOW as they had promised so what do you mean the Torah was raised at the gate? Using a megaphone that booms things liked the Birkat Kohanim and other parts of the service has always been done. For proof,please refer to Rabbi Menachem Kasher's book,THE WESTERN WALL.Photographs showing the megaphone can be found in the center of this book which was published in the 70s. The Women of the Wall didn't get into the women's section of the Kotel because they were late or the seminary girls got there first.If they woke up earlier they and their imported American friends would certainly have a spot at the Kotel. Another error you made was saying that Anat Hoffman blew the shofar at the end pof the service. In fact,in violation of Jewish custom maybe 50 people who brought personal shofars blew them.

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