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September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
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Unholy Hypocrisy At The Western Wall


Unfortunately, the rabbis and religious Jews who sought to confront the Women of the Wall have unwittingly played right into their hands. Publicity is the oxygen that has kept the movement in the spotlight and enabled it to garner the attention it needs to keep going.

The Women of the Wall, after all, is a miniscule group – numerically insignificant. But precisely because of their baiting, and the responses they elicited, they have received column inches far in excess of their membership rolls.

At this stage, decisive action is necessary to prevent further squabbles from breaking out.

In the wake of the court ruling, it behooves Israel’s Religious Affairs Ministry to issue new regulations governing acceptable practice at the Western Wall in order to forestall future altercations.

Whatever loopholes exist in the current guidelines need to be addressed so that the traditional practice at the Wall is maintained and Jewish law is respected.

And then the Women of the Wall need to be given a clear choice regarding the Sharansky proposal: take it or leave it.

The clashes they have sparked at the Western Wall aren’t good for Israel or Jewish unity. We cannot allow them to drag us into internecine conflict or senseless hatred.

Yes, the Western Wall belongs to the entire Jewish people. But those who exploit this holy site for their own ulterior motives must finally be exposed for what they are: anything but holy.

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.


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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.

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