I believe that the insistence and stubbornness of the Women of the Kotel, who have been keeping their date at there for 25 years, presents a considerable question mark before Rabbi Feinstein’s assertion that their actions are born by a resentment against God and nothing else. After 25 years of arrests and humiliation at the hands of Israel’s legal system, I accept that their intention are at least as pure as those of the Tzitzis flying Orthodox youths.
But I have not even the slightest doubt that the day these sincere and lovely women receive legal recognition, it would constitute yet another significant retreat for Rabbinic Judaism in Israel, and with it a retreat in the essence of the connection between the State of Israel and its spiritual identity that was forged here so many thousands of years ago.
This is why I object will all my heart to the proposal offered recently by JAFI Director, Natan Sharansky, to give WOW their own section in front of the excavated portion of the Kotel. Because this is tantamount to erecting a Reform synagogue at the Kotel. It would be so much worse than having a bunch of women putting on talit and teffilin once a month before the Kotel – it would be a permanent anti-halachic edifice a stone’s throw away from the Holy Temple.
Term “Tzelem Ba’Heichal” (idol in the Temple) mean anything to you, Mr. Sharansky?
I only wonder, on a practical level, what would have happened if, starting 25 years ago, instead of cursing them out and arresting them and schlepping them to court and humiliating them, we would have just tolerated those women coming once a month to sing before the Kotel an hour or two, and go home.
Would they have been able to cause the media landslide they’ve generated now?
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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