web analytics
July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Unholy Hypocrisy At The Western Wall


Last Friday, the Western Wall underwent an unwelcome transformation from sacred site to media circus as the group known as the Women of the Wall sought to hold a decidedly non-traditional prayer service.

Not content with the idea that their worship would be seen by our Father in Heaven, the women went one step further and made sure that plenty of writers, journalists and cameramen from Israel and abroad were there to film their disregard for time-honored Jewish practice.

Waiting there to greet them were thousands of young religious women who had heeded the calls of leading rabbis to demonstrate support for maintaining the status quo at the site.

Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for things to get out of hand, and hundreds of policemen were needed to prevent an outbreak of violence.

What a disgrace.

As Jerusalem Police Commander Yossi Parienti said, “It pains me to see the Western Wall become a battlefield.”

But that, sadly, is exactly what occurred.

Whatever one may think of the Women of the Wall and their cause, there is no getting around the fact that they bear the lion’s share of the blame for this sorry situation.

For all their talk of fairness and spirituality, the Women of the Wall have demonstrated an astonishing amount of unholy hypocrisy in how they seek to achieve their objectives.

Take, for example, the issue of adhering to the rule of law.

Over the years, as they lost battle after battle in the courts, the Women of the Wall felt little compunction about upholding the law. They repeatedly defied police instructions, occasionally getting arrested in the process.

And yet now, after finally finding an agreeable judge last month who permitted them to don prayer shawls and phylacteries at the Wall, they solemnly speak of the need to uphold decisions made by the court. In other words, as long as the court agrees with them, they will be happy to respect its rulings.

Interestingly, these same would-be heroines of human rights have remained remarkably silent about the discrimination faced by all Jews – men and women alike – who ascend the Temple Mount.

Recently, I asked a long-time adviser to the group the following question: if the Women of the Wall truly believe in freedom of religious practice, why don’t they also protest the restrictions imposed on Jews who wish to pray on the Temple Mount?

The answer I received was as revealing as it was shocking: they don’t believe Jews should be allowed to pray on the Mount, she said.

Clearly, then, this is a group with an agenda, and not one that is overly concerned with pesky matters such as principle or intellectual consistency.

Sure, they believe in freedom of religion, but only when it suits their politically liberal worldview.

Indeed, a revealing glimpse behind the group’s thinking was provided by one of its leaders, Anat Hoffman, in an appearance last month on the BBC. After the interviewer said to her, “I want to understand – are you just trying to change the setup at the Western Wall or is your point a broader one about Judaism?” Hoffman did not hesitate to show her cards.

“I think when you change the holiest site of the Jewish people you are actually asking why not about a variety of other life choices dictated to Israelis by the Orthodox monopoly,” she said.

“I am also questioning why are the Orthodox the only ones in charge of marriage and divorce in Israel?… Some of us wish to get buried not by Orthodox custom but by Reform, Conservative or secular custom,” Hoffman added.

So even by their own admission, the Women of the Wall aren’t really focused on the Wall – their aim is to exploit this symbol and use it as a bridgehead in order to tear down Orthodoxy in the Jewish state.

Moreover, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky recently proposed a compromise under which Israel would construct a separate section for so-called egalitarian prayer services in order to defuse the tensions. This would have given the Women of the Wall a place to congregate and pray without causing strife and confrontation.

But rather than embracing this and working to find a solution, the Women of the Wall instead came looking for a provocation. Clearly, their activity isn’t about the saintly exercise of devotion. It is a cynical act of manipulation, one with strident political overtones that reek of impiety.

About the Author: Michael Freund is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s leading English-language daily, and he previously served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Prime Minister’s Office under Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

8 Responses to “Unholy Hypocrisy At The Western Wall”

  1. Myriam Obadia says:

    Are you quite sure you are looking at the worse hypocrisy at the Wall? How about the hypocrisy of Rabbis claiming to pray for peace, yet enforcing the "my way of the highway" method to achieve it? A mere century ago the "status quo" was that men and women were praying together at the Wall with Sephardi husbands sheltering their wife and children under their Tallit. Not content with installing a mechitza and relegating the women to a minuscule area by the Dung gate (how fitting), the Ashkenazi Haredim have barred women from all the mitzvot the Shulchan Aruch allows them.

  2. Myriam Obadia says:

    Are you quite sure you are looking at the worse hypocrisy at the Wall? How about the hypocrisy of Rabbis claiming to pray for peace, yet enforcing the "my way of the highway" method to achieve it? A mere century ago the "status quo" was that men and women were praying together at the Wall with Sephardi husbands sheltering their wife and children under their Tallit. Not content with installing a mechitza and relegating the women to a minuscule area by the Dung gate (how fitting), the Ashkenazi Haredim have barred women from all the mitzvot the Shulchan Aruch allows them.

  3. Myriam Obadia says:

    Are you quite sure you are looking at the worse hypocrisy at the Wall? How about the hypocrisy of Rabbis claiming to pray for peace, yet enforcing the "my way of the highway" method to achieve it? A mere century ago the "status quo" was that men and women were praying together at the Wall with Sephardi husbands sheltering their wife and children under their Tallit. Not content with installing a mechitza and relegating the women to a minuscule area by the Dung gate (how fitting), the Ashkenazi Haredim have barred women from all the mitzvot the Shulchan Aruch allows them.

  4. Myriam Obadia says:

    Are you quite sure you are looking at the worse hypocrisy at the Wall? How about the hypocrisy of Rabbis claiming to pray for peace, yet enforcing the "my way of the highway" method to achieve it? A mere century ago the "status quo" was that men and women were praying together at the Wall with Sephardi husbands sheltering their wife and children under their Tallit. Not content with installing a mechitza and relegating the women to a minuscule area by the Dung gate (how fitting), the Ashkenazi Haredim have barred women from all the mitzvot the Shulchan Aruch allows them.

  5. Myriam Obadia says:

    Are you quite sure you are looking at the worse hypocrisy at the Wall? How about the hypocrisy of Rabbis claiming to pray for peace, yet enforcing the "my way of the highway" method to achieve it? A mere century ago the "status quo" was that men and women were praying together at the Wall with Sephardi husbands sheltering their wife and children under their Tallit. Not content with installing a mechitza and relegating the women to a minuscule area by the Dung gate (how fitting), the Ashkenazi Haredim have barred women from all the mitzvot the Shulchan Aruch allows them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    They were not allowed to put up a mechitza back then and they were family members together in any case. Mechitza was always the case even for sephardi. The question is simple; do you accect orthodox judaism – yes or no. If no then we are putting more trust in our own judgements (which is based on almost no knowledge of the mishns. Talmus, etc. Trust in Chazal who new the whole Torah- its just makes sense. Why do so many reformists think they can be a rabbi even if they don't now any Torah? I don't pretend I can be a brain surgeon if I didn't even go to medical school.

  7. Myriam Obadia says:

    Could you be clearer? I'm afraid I must not be understanding you well, because I find a contradiction in your statement.

  8. Michael I really support your wonderful work but this piece is so off the mark. The reality is that "Orthodox" Judaism, in particular Haredi Judaism has hijacked this country for 65 years on the blood, sweat, tears and prayers of all the rest of us living here. They have exploited the country, at best, they feel is barely legitimate including everyone except their "kind". This is not Judaism but a foreign blight in our midst that must end its power over the State of Israel.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
U.S. President Barack Obama escorts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out of the Oval Office
Pirated Phone Conversation of Obama Slamming Bibi from Unverified Source
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Michael Freund
Michael Freund

Speaking in his native German, Schulz used the opportunity to blast Israel.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeieris is browbeating Israel in public.

Ever since he vanished, the American government had repeatedly asserted that Levinson was a private businessman — his own safety.

For the second time in the past three months, Israel on Sunday declared its intention to build over 1,000 housing units in areas beyond the 1967 lines.

Nearly seven decades since the end of World War II, Poland is once again turning on its Jews.

In a stunning move last week, the lower house of the Polish parliament rejected a bill that would have restored the legality of shechita, or kosher slaughter, by a vote of 222 to 178.

Last Friday, the Western Wall underwent an unwelcome transformation from sacred site to media circus as the group known as the Women of the Wall sought to hold a decidedly non-traditional prayer service.

The state of Israel this week turned 65, defying history and the odds to celebrate its continued existence in a very dangerous part of the world.

As I write these words, a Jewish toddler injured in a Palestinian terror attack is lying in a hospital bed struggling for her life.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/fundamentally-freund/unholy-hypocrisy-at-the-western-wall/2013/05/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: