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.
Surprise announcement of non-Orthodox zone approved, reluctantly, by Reform and Conservative, but not Women of the Wall.
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Jerusalem - What the Israeli government is calling an “interim” arrangement to enable more non-Orthodox Jews to pray at Robinson’s Arch has received grudging support from Reform and Conservative leaders but not from Women of the Wall.
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.
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.
The Haredi Spring is coming to an end — and not a moment too soon. In the recent election in Israel, the majority rose up and called a halt to the process of haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, Jews playing a dominant role in the government coalition while resisting national service. Requirements for army service and incentives to work instead of living on welfare are now being discussed in the Knesset. The haredim have reacted by insisting that their way of life and privileges were sacrosanct and could not be reined in by the democratic process. In truth, they have never seemed comfortable with real democracy.