Jerusalem – Netanyahu Revisits Ban On Female Prayer At Western Wall

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Religious Jewish women, which are part of the Women of the Wall organization, wear prayer shawls and tallit as they hold the Torah and pray near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. EPA/MIRIAM ALSTERJerusalem – Israel’s prime minister has instructed a quasi-governmental Jewish organization to find a solution for non-Orthodox Jewish female groups wishing to pray at one of Judaism’s holiest sites.

An official said Tuesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, to look into the matter. The official spoke anonymously according to government regulations.

Last week Israeli police detained women from a liberal Jewish group who approached the Western Wall in Jerusalem carrying prayer shawls. Orthodox Jews insist those are for men only. The women seek to worship at the site without such restrictions.

Jewish Agency spokesman Benjamin Rutland said Netanyahu told Sharansky that the Western Wall “must remain a source of Jewish unity rather than division.” The wall is a remnant of the biblical Jewish Temple compound.

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83 COMMENTS

    • Women have ample opportunity to daven at the kosel…in the women’s section.

      Men have ample opportunity to daven at the kosel…in the men’s section.

      The Women Off the Wall are just trying to stir the pot for their own selfish, irreligious agends.

    • No… they shouldn’t.
      Who do you think you are? You no better than our great sages?
      These women should be put in cheirem and not be allowed to desecrate the Western Wall.

      That picture made me puke. I can’t believe such vile people exist. If they want to create their own laws let them build their own wall.

      • The only “vile people” I sense is YOU and your chevrah who desecrate the memory of hundreds of thousands of jewish women who died al kidush hashem in the shoah saying the ‘shamah but were probably did not meet your definition of frumkeit. If women want to daven or follow a different hashkofah from yours, they should be allowed. You are the hateful am haoretz who sinas chinam will keep the geulah from coming for a long time.

      • Awfully threatened by women who want to daven. You should celebrate their commitment. I think if that makes you puke (as opposed to actually disgusting things out there) then you have some sort of issue with women. Wanna tell us about it? We won’t judge.

          • You have now contradicted yourself, as you and others claimed there was nothing wrong with the act they were doing, as we saw from Michal bas Shaul, but their intentions were wrong. Now you say intentions are not what counts, but the act.

            I contend that we have no way and no right to judge intentions without a Navi. Therefore, either way we have no right to be metzaer another human being by arresting them for this.

  1. I thought these women were given the Southern Wall (Robinson’s Arch) park where they could daven without disturbance or being disturbed. Their leader disrespected the Southern Wall as “back of the bus.” How is the Southern Wall have less sanctity than the Western Wall, when they are part of the same system?

    • Because the Kosel is close to the Kodesh Hakodoshim while the Robinson arch part is opposit the southern extension added by Herod, which didn’t have the same Kedusha, and even gentiles could go up to that area. Israel needs to figure out how to give some freedom to fringe groups without denying that the chareidim are the ones who have preserved a sense of kedusha to this land. Until Moshiach we are going to have these things.

  2. Humble suggestion: Let these so-called women of the wall pray freely on the OTHER SIDE of the Kotel. Give them full access, 24/7, and let them bring along any and all supporters, writers, free-thinkers, libertarians, and left-wing philosophers. Let them sing and dance there wearing whatever they wish. Let as many media reporters join them as space allows. Give them live coverage, i.e. CNN, JTA, UPI, and, of course, El Jazira. Such permission will bring tis controversy to a final close. Forever.

    • several years ago i asked my rav if i could attend one of these women’s prayer groups.he told me no and that they were destroying yiddishkait. now several years older,i see the wisdom of his psak.

  3. The Kotel is an Orthodox synagogue. Should women have the right to form a Minyan in your Shul? Should I have the right to demand a separate Minyan at every impressive Reform temple I pass in suburban communities in the US?

    • “The Kotel is an Orthodox synagoge.” That is funny. Most orthodox dont serve in the Army. I didnt know that only the orthodox liberated the Kosel. If not the Unorthodox The KOSEL would be in arab land. So in your opinion let the Not Orthodox go to war etc. and you will get all the rewards for sitting at home? Yes?

    • Orthodox Synagoge”?? I have a better idea. Anyone who goes to the Army or serve national service should be able to daven there. Anyone refuses should be barred. Men or women. If you dont serve the nation dont benefit from them. The army liberated the KOsel not the chassidim

      • Most of the Army doesn’t Pray and many don’t believe. They wouldn’t even come to the kosel if they had a chance. The kosel belongs to the Jewish Religion that predated the Zionist state.

  4. The truth is these women are not there to pray to god they are there to make provocations and they should be banned from the whole area, They should be given a seperate place where they could act out their halucinations.
    These rabble don’t believe in God and the Torah and their only purpose is to create trouble and BTW they are funded by the Reform religion and the New Israel Fund which both work very hard for the downfall of judaism and Israel

    • here you go again

      ALTERG you are again skipping yeshiva and not learning
      for you it is apikorsus to troll the internet hence your viewpoint is meaningless
      that you espouse here

      also WHY are you looking at photos of women here and feigning outrage?
      i think your apikorsus is sick and outrageous

  5. Why stop at women wearing taleitim and tefillin?

    Israel should permit every possible variation of Judaism to do what feels right to them at the Kotel. No standards, no morals, just whatever they want.

    • No they don’t. The mitzvah of tefillin may be a mitzvah aseh shelo zman gramah as tefillin should technically be worn the whole day. Rashi’s daughters wore tefillin and so did Bruria, Rav Meir’s wife. Now would you be calling Rav Meir, the anonymous tanna kamma, an am haaretz?

      • Interesting. It took less than 3 hours since this article was first posted for the first repetition of the outright lies: that Rashi’s daughters and Bruria eishes R’ Meir wore tfillin. There are no mekoros nor any evidence for it. How could there be? Those are lies.

      • “Rashi’s daughters wore tefillin and so did Bruria, Rav Meir’s wife.”

        Where is your מקור for the daughters of רש”י wearing תפילין? Where is your מקור for ברוריה wearing תפילין? (Hint: there are no מקורות for these)

        Now, if you wanted to cite a proper case of a woman wearing תפילין, you should have gone to עירובין צ”ו ע”א, where it learns that מיכל the daughter of שאול wore תפילין:

        דתניא מיכל בת כושי היתה מנחת תפילין ולא מיחו בה חכמים

        You really should be much more careful when you make statements which are not based on any authentic מקורות. It allows people like me to make people like you look silly.

      • I don’t believe anyone could walk around ALL day wearing tefillin….its impossible to do housework, take care of the kids, do the shopping etc. while wearing a shel rosh and shel yad…simply not possible. For a man, who had to work in the fields, tend the flocks, or do whatever work they did, it would be even more impossible.

    • Rashi’s daughters wore tefillin. Further these women seem to be wearing feminine tallasim. As far as I am aware there is no blanket ban on women observing the mitvot of tallis and tefillin. There may be opinions that prohibit it due to prohibitions on new innovations or whatever, but your statement is not correct.

      • Rashi’s daughters wore tefillin. REALLY? where did you get that misinformation from? Beside how dare you compare the holy Rashi’s daughters to these am horatzos, reform atheists? BTW how does a women put tfilin on her hair. It’s a) uncovered b)a chatzitza for the tefilin and c) her arm is uncovered and it says in the Shulchan Oruch that a woman must cover her arm up to her elbows. In the picture there she is in all her (un)glory with exposed hair and chatitzah etc. Now of course the tremendous ignoramuses who defend this have no-that’s none , zilch , nadda not one place to back up there stupidity that this is ok.

        • Not one place? Really? Did you see the gemara quoted above?

          עירובין צ”ו ע”א, where it learns that מיכל the daughter of שאול wore tefillin.
          דתניא מיכל בת כושי היתה מנחת תפילין ולא מיחו בה חכמים

          the chachomim had no objection despite all of the supposed halachic problems which you mention. I guess that means you’re either a greater chacham than the ones from the gemara……or you’re 100% wrong.
          Also, while i don’t have the source handy the shulchan aruch in hilchot shabbat says a woman can be called up to read from the torah even when men are present, and the gemara tells us that women were called up for aliyot until it was stopped due to “kavod hatzibur” which is never fully explained. So there can’t have been any halachic problem or it never would have happened to begin with.

          • 1)What does Michal have to do with Rashi’s daughter? 2)They may not have had any halachik problems because Michal MADE SURE there were no halachik problems! 3) your Shulchan oruch proof is no proof at all. I am 0 percent sure that those women who may have gotten aliyos WERE dressed tzinuisly. Onlike these reformers and atheists. BTW it WAS stopped “due to kovod hatzibur” That is ENOUGH of a halacha. That IS halacha! But if you are either an apikores or koifer or reform (same thing) or am haoretz you don’t believe/accept Torah sheh bal peh ayway.

          • “the chachomim had no objection despite all of the supposed halachic problems which you mention.”

            That may be correct according to רש”י. But, if you look at the תוספות there, you will see that the חכמים did indeed object to her wearing תפילין:

            בפסיקתא [רבתי פכ”ב] דר’ חזקיה בשם ר’ אבהו אמרו….. מיכל בת כושי מיחו בה חכמים

            You should check all מקורות prior to posting.

        • Whether it is Rashi’s daughters or Michal bas Shaul, it defeats all your arguments.

          As for accuracy of Rashi’s daughters, apparently it is a mesorah which has been passed down, but may not have a source.

          Just curious whether you believe in the Golem of Prague, and what your source is?

          • Whether it is Rashi’s daughters or Michal bas Shaul, it defeats all your arguments.
            It does how? Just the opposite you fool. BTW are you an orthodox Jew?

          • Hey do you think Rashis daughters would have made this scandal at the Western Wall, when the Chief Rabbinate said no? Do you think Rashi himself would have allowed his daughters to disobey the rabonim of the Western Wall? Please don’t mention the name Rashi Hakodosh with these …….

          • Yes….and these women, albeit following a different hashkafah, are acting in the same independent and heroic way as Rashi’s daughters (Miriam, Yocheved, and Rachel) did over 900 years ago when they defied common convention and showed their ahavas hashem in a manner that went against common custom.

          • PLEASE!!! do you really believe rashi’s daughter’s would do such a thing with out haskama from their father? heroic? independent? tht’s what the reform movement says while they make it up as they go along.

          • A different hashkofa” What?? You sound like some reform rabbi who says we can eat ham because we follow a different “hashkofa” (probably doesn’t even know the translation) Also where does it say Rashis daughters wore t’filin? Also do you think they were dressed immodestly? Also did they do it in public?

        • how does a Nazir with all his hair wear Tefilin? Why doesn’t it say anywhere in the Posuk that these Mitzvohs are only for men, just like the Posuk says regarding the Avoido of a Kohen? You would go crazy if you would hear that Yoishiyoho hamelech send Sheluchim to a female Novie. You would be very upset with Devorah who acted like a man.

  6. They are bothering nobody, as they are behind a mechitza. Rashi’s daughters wore tefilin. It is not my place or anybody else’s to judge their intentions. If you are a navi who is capable of doing so, please do me a personal favor and first give me the upcoming lottery numbers which would be a better use of your skills.

    • there intentions are not the primary concern but there actions are. this is the kosel for G-d’s sake. none of us are free to whatever might pop into our heads there ,nor should we be.

  7. Women have their mitzvos and men have theirs. The Torah is very clear on it and Hashem has a reason for the division. Hashem made men the way he did and women the way he did for a reason. WE are NOT the same, we are capable of doing some of the same things and then we are NOT capable of doing others because HASHEM made us different for a reason, his reasons, which we are NOT supposed to question. Praying to Hashem while challenging his reasons for making us different and giving us different mitzvos is hypocritical and foolish!!! Need I say more?

  8. If they want to get close why not go up to the dome of the rock and daven their with tallis and tefellin. They are provokers. We do what are sages say no more or less. We do not put on tefellin on Shabbos, we do not where 3 tallesims.

  9. To all you “open minded” people who advocate that the women should be allowed to daven at the main Kotel with Tallis & / or Tefillin; how about letting the “fulfilled” Jews (Christians & other meshumidim) at the Kotel with crosses? How about a few Wiccans? Half dressed Gays & Transgendered? There comes a time when “tolerance” infringes on other people’s rights.

  10. What I cant understand is- these women are ready to put on Tefillin but they’re not ready to cover their hair?

    Why would these women pursue a mitzvah meant for men, when there are mitzvos unique to them that they can still discover?

    I’m not going to weigh in on their brand of religion, but it seems to me that one should first cover their own bases before moving on to the next playing field.

    • Because they don’t agree with you that a woman must cover her hair and they know that rashi’s daughter put on tefillin, so it must be OK. Furthermore, there are plenty of men who wear tallaysim and tefillin but defraud the israeli or american taxpayers by collecting monies to which they aren’t entitled. Shouldn’t you be asking them to “cover their bases” as well?

    • Littlewife, some of them have on hats. Perhaps the others are unmarried. I kind of doubt that is the case, and I understand exactly what you mean, but I am trying to give them some benefit of a doubt.

    • “be happy to give the kotel to arabs” ???? Really? How would you know this? On the other hand we all know there are plenty of men who daven at the kotel who would love forALL OF ISRAEL, including the kotel to go to the arabs. But I don’t see you worrying about them or being bothered that they daven there. Instead you state something untrue about these women and then condemn them for it. Why is that?

  11. I happen to know the baalas koreh who is a rabbi. She is a wonderful, caring person who loves jews, judaism and israel. You may not agree with her branch of judaism which gives ordination to women, but I would rather have her davening or layning on my behalf than most of the commenters here. She is quite sincere and shame on all who throw around hateful insults.
    Orthodoxy doesn’t have a monopoly on judaism or truth. You just think you do.
    The kotel is not an orthodox shul and its not privately funded. The women would have no right to come to a private shul and do this , but the kotel is under the control of the state of Israel, which should have no role in funding religious institutions of any kind. Israel is not a theocracy, and is made up of a majority who arent orthodox. If the non-orthodox were as exclusionary and demanding as the charedim, they could push for there to be no orthodox services there just as easily.

  12. these woman are not the only weirdos that are banned at the kosel. the same is true for the loonies who used to dress all in white and come Friday night and try to get some attention. the kosel should be for anyone that wants to daven to hashem and not to call attention to themselves and disturb others

  13. Looking at this picture, I wonder once again, how is it that none of these women ever had a friend good enough to tell them the reality of life: that women of their, to put it politely, limited physical appeal could still attract men with good personalities. Alas, that’s not the course they’ve chosen.

    • “…women of their, to put it politely, limited physical appeal could still attract men with good personalities”..

      Once again Shemlly G. manages to demonstrates his ignorance and hatred of anyone with intelligence and independence by turning the argument into some vile comment about these womens’ physical appearence. Once can only hope that any woman with your DNA will not provide us with more ShmellyGs to perpetuate whatever hatred it is you have for a large percentage of klal yisroel.

  14. During the first bayis, the Heichal and Azoroh were open to all kinds of religious worship.
    There were constantly all kinds of Asheiros and Baal inside the Bais Hamikdosh, for people to use in their worship. Even Chezkiyohu Hamelech did not remove all of them. So its not so simple.

  15. Imagine if an equivilent group would want to pray in St. Peters in Rome or in Mecca. There is a place for women to pray but if you see the New York Times photo-there is a clown with a yarmulka next to women laining. Such viloations of halacha should not be tolerated. The kosel is not a mere cultural site.

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