Western Wall

Longtime Women Of The Wall Members Protest Robinson’s Arch Decision


Ten longtime members of Women of the Wall are protesting the organization’s agreement to meet at Robinson’s Arch if certain conditions are met.

Women of the Wall members praying at the Western Wall plaza to mark the Hebrew month of Av. Miriam Alster/Flash90

Women Of The Wall Agree To Pray In Egalitarian Space, With Conditions


 Women of the Wall agreed in principle to pray in a new egalitarian space adjacent to the Western Wall Plaza, provided that the space meets several conditions regarding design and management.

Blind To The Rights Of The Disabled

Why guide dogs should be allowed at the Western Wall.
Special To The Jewish Week

Sixty blind people with guide dogs recently toured the Old City of Jerusalem. Despite the eternal darkness they experience, they were flooded with light. Touching the stones of the Jewish Quarter brought tears to their sightless eyes. However, they could not approach the prayer site sanctified by a myriad of Jewish tears over the millennia, since Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who holds the title of rabbi of the Western Wall, has ruled that the Western Wall plaza is off limits to all types of animals — guide dogs included.

The author urges Western Wall plaza officials to uphold human rights doctrine as well as Jewish tradition.

Resist Sermonizing On Women Of The Wall

Special To The Jewish Week

An initiative inviting 100 rabbis to deliver sermons about the Women of the Wall this High Holiday Season has enlisted dozens of rabbis. Although I understand why it is irresistible, I am not impressed.

New Plan Keeps Kotel Plaza For 'Orthodox' Services, Moves Others To Platform

Staff Writer

In an attempt to soothe tensions at the Western Wall ahead of the High Holidays over the issue of women’s right to pray there collectively, the Israeli government has built a platform for services outside the main plaza, a move denounced as “exile” by the primary group that has been pushing for change at one of Judaism’s holiest sites.

The new platform built for "non-Orthodox" services at the Kotel. Photo courtesy Ministry for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs

Guard Had Clashed With Jewish Man Shot At Western Wall


The security guard who fatally shot an Israeli homeless man at the Western Wall plaza early Friday is under investigation for murder.

The guard, a Druze who had been on the job for a short time, reportedly had clashed previously with Doron Ben Shlush. He was arrested after the incident on Friday morning and ordered held for five days. His name is under a gag order.
A police investigation has determined that Ben Shlush yelled “Druze, you son of a bitch” at the security guard, according to the Times of Israel.

Israel's Chief Rabbis Receive Death Threats Over Women Of Wall Prayer


Israel’s chief rabbis received death threats in letters to their offices warning them to allow the Women of the Wall to pray “in accordance with our customs.”

The letters, headlined “This is a last warning,” were delivered Monday to the offices of Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar. A complaint was filed with the security officer of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Torah Is For All Of Us

Jewish Week Online Columnist

In all of the storied history of the Jewish people, there was no single event that had greater short and long-term consequences than the revelation of Torah at Sinai. 

The festival of Shavuot, which we celebrated this week, marked the anniversary of that extraordinary (in both the literal and figurative senses of the word) day.  It encouraged us to recall, or recreate, if you will, the power, majesty and mystery of that luminous moment when God and humanity communed as one.  The world would never be the same thereafter.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Praying For Peace: A Rabbinical Student Reports On Rosh Hodesh At The Wall

Special To The Jewish Week

As I pushed through the jampacked Kotel on Rosh Hodesh Sivan, thousands of religious girls pointed at my kippa and screamed in my face. Not only did they stick out their tongues, but they made the shape of a gun with their hands and rotated between pointing it at their heads and pointing it at mine. Scanning through the faces of the young girls, I wondered if in a different setting, we could’ve been braiding challah or lighting Shabbat candles together as friends. Some of their eyes leaked with hatrid and disgust, while some overflowed with intrigue, curiosity, and at times boredom. A large portion of the girls seemed to be mulling about, happy to be spending time with friends, and waiting for us to leave.

Jenn Maggin
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