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Police Let Women Read Megillah at Kotel on Shushan Purim

By: JTA

A women’s Megillah reading at the Western Wall took place on Shushan Purim without incident or arrests on Monday, the day after most of Israel and the rest of the Jewish world celebrated Purim.

Approximately 80 women turned out, some donning prayer shawls, others dressed as police and Haredi Orthodox worshipers, on Monday morning in Jerusalem, the Times of Israel reported.

Hallel Silverman, the 17-year-old niece of American comedian Sarah Silverman and who was arrested two weeks ago during Rosh Chodesh prayers, participated in the Megillah reading dressed in striped prison garb, Two of her younger siblings dressed as police officers leading her by handcuffs.

Israeli police have made nearly monthly arrests related to dress code violations since June related to the Women of the Wall’s monthly Rosh Chodesh service.

In 2003, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a government ban on women wearing tefillin or tallit, prayer shawls, or reading from a Torah scroll at the Wall. The court later ruled the women can do so on Rosh Chodesh at the southern part of the Western Wall, which is less frequented.

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