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August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
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Police Let Sarah Silverman’s Niece Visit Western Wall on Purim

By: JTA

Police have agreed to allow the niece of American comedian Sarah Silverman will be allowed to attend a women’s Megillah reading at the Western Wall despite being banned from the site.

Hallel Abramowitz Silverman, 17, was one of 10 female worshipers arrested for wearing prayer shawls during a women’s Rosh Chodesh prayer service at the Western Wall earlier this month. Her mother, Rabbi Susan Abramowitz Silverman, also was arrested.

The women were released on condition that they not visit the site for 15 days and were required by police to sign a document agreeing to the condition.

After realizing she would not be able to attend the Women of the Wall organization’s women’s Megillah reading at the Kotel because of the restriction, the younger Silverman went to the Old City of Jerusalem police station and presented a letter to request an exception to the ban. She arrived with her lawyer and her father.

Police agreed to allow her to visit the Western Wall on Shushan Purim in Jerusalem  Sunday night and Monday, one day after the Purim holiday is celebrated in most other places.

“I wasn’t going to sign, but my mom had a flight leaving in a few hours, and we were afraid there would be complications and she would miss her flight,” she told Haaretz. “Plus, I was nervous. After all, I am 17 years old and I was being held in a police station.

“I was feeling so pressured, I didn’t realize it would mean missing the Megillah,” she told the newspaper. “If I had really understood this, I don’t know if I would have signed.”

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