web analytics
February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Women of the Wall ‘Corralled’ by Police, Drowned Out by Megaphones

A kind of Mutually Assured Disturbance was observed by both sides.
It appears the WOW are learning a hard lesson of what happens when you really awaken a Haredi lion from his/her slumber. It's been known to bite.

It appears the WOW are learning a hard lesson of what happens when you really awaken a Haredi lion from his/her slumber. It's been known to bite.
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster

Women of the Wall blew a shofar at the back of the Western Wall Plaza and raised a Torah scroll at the plaza’s gate as they completed their service under a heavy police barricade.

Police wouldn’t let them bring a Torah scroll into the service, but before entering the plaza, the group sang as one woman held a scroll at the plaza’s gate.

One small step for woman holding scroll. No discernable big step for anybody.

Police acted on the side of caution, because, as they had done a month ago, thousands of seminary girls packed the plaza by the Wall and prayed quietly during Wednesday morning’s service.

None of the young women blew a shofar or pass the Torah around, but they did say Hallel, and Mussaf, quietly.

So police decided to barricade the 300 or so Women of the Wall and their male supporters at the back of the plaza, far away from the Wall, behind a heavy police barricade, a 15-foot buffer zone and two lines of police, according to the JTA report.

A WOW statement complained that they were “corralled into a small pen in the Western Wall Plaza, 150 meters from the Kotel. This, despite requests of Women of the Wall and MK Aliza Lavie, chair of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women (Lavie in a letter to Minister of Internal Security Aharonowitz), to allow women to pray freely, according to their tradition at the holy site.”

Photo credit: Miriam Alster

Photo credit: Miriam Alster

Meanwhile, over at the men’s section, Haredim blew whistles and chanted insults. One Haredi guy chanted psalms into a megaphone, disrupting the WOW service.

The WOW statement accused Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, appointed administrator of the Western Wall and holy places, of leading prayers and addressing worshipers over this loudspeaker while the WOW attempted to pray together.

“The sound system is for public use,” they wrote, “and yet never in 25 years has it been used on Rosh Chodesh, until last month. Rabinowitz chose to use his status to take a biased and discriminatory stance: to drown out women’s prayer in favor of his own.”

In other words, a kind of Mutually Assured Disturbance was observed by both sides.

Women of the Wall chair Anat Hoffman said, “We will not forget that the Torah is exiled from the Western Wall, due to the discriminatory misuse of power by Rabbi Rabinowitz. Israel is the only democracy in the world that by law prohibits women from reading Torah. Unfortunately, the only people who felt at home today at the Kotel were the ultra-Orthodox worshippers and the police and Rabinowitz collaborated towards this end.”

Except, whenever this reporter asks the WOW to comment on the similarities between their case and the exile of Jews from setting foot freely, much less praying, on the Temple Mount, they clam up and declare those are totally different things. Freedom is freedom is freedom, unless you are a religious hypocrite, with whom this country has been richly blessed.

JTA noted that over the two Rosh Chodesh days, last month and today, a new status quo has developed at the Wall during the Women of the Wall attempted service: Orthodox girls arrive en masse and pray quietly next to the Wall, Police place Women of the Wall under a heavy barricade, and protesters try to interrupt them.

Two months ago, the protesters were “raucous and violent,” meaning they threw chairs at the WOW, this time things were relatively civil. And by the time WOW leader Hoffman blew the shofar, most of the protesters had already dispersed.

“More than ten women blew shofar together at the Kotel, as is traditional in the Jewish month of Elul preceding the high holy days,” reads the WOW statement. “The sounding of the ram’s horn symbolizes Women of the Wall’s perseverance and determination to see justice for women at the Western Wall, in Israel and around the World.”

Not so much justice as a little bit of civility. You don’t want to be drowned out by megaphones, please don’t do stuff that upsets folks who have been davening here since 1967. It appears the WOW are learning a hard lesson of what happens when you really awaken a Haredi lion from his/her slumber. It’s been known to bite.

Let’s hope nobody forgot to say Ya’aleh V’yavo – which you can always say later, during benching.

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.


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.

9 Responses to “Women of the Wall ‘Corralled’ by Police, Drowned Out by Megaphones”

  1. Jennifer Badani says:

    That's so unfair. Women of the Wall should have a right to pray as well. Where's the democracy?

  2. Henna du Plessis says:

    What is it about "a woman shall not wear men's clothing that they do not understand?"

  3. Henna du Plessis says:

    What is it about "a woman shall not wear men's clothing that they do not understand?"

  4. Ltc Howard says:

    As a Christian, let me place the Women of the the Wall demonstrations in context.

    They do not come to pray. They come to provoke and disrupt.

    They have a grudge at the ultra religious.

    Israel has many problems, military, terror,, economic, social. These women are trying to pour gasoline and start a a fire.

    If they want to pray they should pray. Let them go to their synagogue; let them pray in their houses; let them pray INDIVIDUALLY at the wall.

    Responding: to Jennifer Badani · Sales at Capital Contracting & Design 6472161627.
    "That's so unfair. Women of the Wall should have a right to pray as well. Where's the democracy?"

    Whereare the Woman of the Wall respecting their fellow coreligionists?

    Democracy consists of not only taking, but also giving.

    These are anti-democratic hypocrites, with an agenda. And their agenda has nothing to do with religious freedom.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yori, Love your paragraph about the Temple Mount…hypocrites, you got that right!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Let them pray on the Temple Mount…. the muslims will welcome them with fists full of rocks.

  7. Myriam Obadia says:

    You can claim they shouldn't wear kippot or streimels, and I'd say you're right. A rectangular garment with tsitsit at the corners isn't a man's garment per say, since women wore tallitot for 1500 years before the Rabbis decided to forbid them the practice.

  8. Dan Silagi says:

    What I find especially hypocritical here is that a spokesman for the Jerusalem Police, Shmuel Ben Ruby, said there was no law against Haredim blowing whistles in order to drown out women's praying and singing. On the other hand, the same cops were very quick to arrest women for the "crime" of praying and singing at the Kotel, when the Jerusalem District Court put a stop to that. In retaliation against that court decision, the same cops are no longer letting WOW even get to the Kotel, penning them up in a small area near the johns.

    Ben Ruby and the rest of these disgraces to law enforcement need to be cited for contempt of court, along with the ayatollah, er, rabbi who controls the Kotel.

  9. Sara Conway says:

    Women of all religious convictions are free at the Kotel anytime. Unfortunately the leadership at WoW has taken it upon themselves to reform and liberate the Kotel from those who have been longing to be near the wall for thousands of years. This has been the goal of the leadership of WoW for 25 years. This is not about prayer- it is a turf war

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Netanyahu in a previous address to Congress-
ABCD – Applaud Bibi’s Congress Decision
Latest News Stories
The southern tip of the Dead Sea.

Jordan and Israel signed an historic agreement Thursday to implement the Red Sea-Dead Sea rescue pipeline project.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Dec. 30, 2014.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power will represent the Obama administration at AIPAC next week.

Photo of Al Qaeda founder and former leader, Osama Bin Laden, seen above a Palestinian Authority flag.

A NYC jury has convicted Al Qaeda’s ‘minister of communications’ on charges connected to the 1998 bombing of a US embassy in East Africa.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu to meet with bipartisan congressional leadership before he addresses the joint session of Congress on March 3.

Jihadi John, the British beheader in Daesh-land (Islamic State) has been tentatively identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a Brit, born in Kuwait, who grew up in West London and has a degree in computer programming. His former friends who have identified him, and are positive its him.

An Arab tried to stab an IDF soldier at the Gush Etzion junction on Thursday evening.

“It is a development that I did not expect five years ago and that’s a bit shocking.”

The survey also revealed that 52 percent of the respondents have an unfavorable view of the president.

The PA says the New York court decision is “a tragic disservice to the millions of Palestinians who have invested in the democratic process and the rule of law.

No one was injured, and anti-Christian graffiti was sprayed painted on walls.

Hamas security forces stopped PA Arab writer, Atef Abu Saif, from attending a book fair in Morocco recently where the noted writer and the fiction award finalist had been nominated for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Canadian leaders have condemned an anti-Semitic incident that left five cars damaged and their owners badly shaken in a Jewish neighborhood of Montreal this week.

Frightening anti-Semitic vandalism has arrived at a Montreal parking garage, and a Jewish neighborhood is deeply worried following damage to five cars and death threats.

Israel’s state comptroller has released a report on the nation’s housing crisis that has set off a firestorm of criticism against the government but few solutions.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/women-of-the-wall-corralled-by-police-drowned-out-by-megaphones/2013/08/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: