Latest update: September 24th, 2012
The Arab press in Israel has begun a campaign of incitement against the increase in the Torah as part of the bar – mitzvah many years held at the Western Wall, according to several Haredi websites.
Al Ayyam newspaper quoted Ahmed Qurei, member of the PLO Executive Committee and Chairman of the Committee on behalf of Jerusalem Affairs, who opposes the activity of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which operates on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office in this matter. Qurei argues that this initiative reflects the completion of the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem and constitutes a violation of religious and historical symbols.
Another article in the same newspaper, the Al-Aqsa Institute said that Israel invented new methods to Judaize Islamic holy relics in Jerusalem. This policy is expressed especially through the greatly increased Torah Aliyahs at the Western Wall by Bar-Mitzvah boys, which is offered free of charge by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation at the behest of the Prime Minister’s office.
After the ceremony, elegant certificates commemorating the event and signed by the Rabbi of the Kotel, are awarded as souvenirs to the bar mitzvah boys, to enhance the value of marking their bar mitzvah at the Western Wall.
Shaul Batish, project manager for “Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel,” stated that since the project began, more than six years ago, it provided its services to tens of thousands of families. “We do not need to advertise,” says Batish, “word gets around and the number of applicants exceeds all the time.”
About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.
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