web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Meet the Women of the Temple Mount

Several hundred women dare to pray near the Western Wall where they usually are prohibited. Several hundred men also are there. Women of the Wall? No. Meet the Women of the Temple Mount.
Young women at the "Sivuv Sha'arim" march around the old gates to the Holy Temples.

Young women at the "Sivuv Sha'arim" march around the old gates to the Holy Temples.

If you think you “have seen everything” in Israel, you probably are wrong. Call it an event, a spectacle or what it really is – prayer in its purest form – it is called “Sivuv Sha’arim,” literally “Around the Gates,” referring to the old, closed gates to the Temple Mount.

Lest anyone be put off because of prohibitions by the Chief Rabbinate of ascending the Temple Mount, praying at the gates of the Temple Mount is similar, in terms of Jewish law, as praying at the Western Wall or any synagogue in the world.

It happens every eve of a new Hebrew month, unless the Arabs get antsy around Ramadan. Several hundred women and men, sometimes up to 3,000, walk and sing in prayer and dance around the old gates to the Temple Mount.

They have been doing this for several years, and last week, I joined them on the eve of the Hebrew month of Kislev, Rosh Chodesh.

I have written about the “Sivuv” in the past as reporter for the Jewish Telegraph Agency, the Jerusalem Post and Arutz Sheva, but this time I am writing it as my own personal experience.

Before the march begins, the organizers brief the crowd on behavior: Follow orders, don’t start up with the police or Arabs and keep all of the senses focused on prayer and the place where the Holy Temples once existed.

The march winds thorough the Muslim and Armenian Quarters under heavy police guard to make sure the Arabs don’t cause any trouble. This past week, there were about 100 police officers, one for every 10 worshippers, and almost ever policeman toted a machine gun.

The prayers are said with strict separation between men and women, and girls hold up a banner the width of the streets in the Old City, with “men” written in Hebrew on side and “women” written on the other side to ensure modesty during singing and dancing.

Young girls and young men, many of them with earlocks half-way down to their belly buttons, their shoulders, wave purple flags of the Temple Mount. There were a handful of the over 60 crowd, like myself, and several Haredim. Other than that, the average age was less than 20.

At each of the old gates, the crowd stops and sings a Psalm. The young men break out in dance, and the loudspeakers that are on a trolley that follows the crowd and separate the men from the women, blares out a Psalm, “Our feet shall stand within thy gates, Jerusalem.”

As I walked back from one gate with the men, it was the girls’ turn to approach the gate and pray. I saw one woman – yes I did look at a woman other than my wife – stopping for several minutes as several hundred others walked past to get near the gate and pray. She covered her face with her hands and moved her head from side to side and in quick motion, totally intense in her thoughts.

What happened? Did she lose a boyfriend? Was a relative sick? More likely, she was totally wrapped up in absolute goodness on a spiritual path.

I began to cry.

I was there once upon a time, when I made aliyah on my first visit to Israel in 1983, at the age of 39. Everything in Israel was good – even the Knesset, where I marveled at a picture or tapestry of King David and realized how everything in this Land of the Jews is connected to Judaism. It simply depends with what eye you are looking and what objective you have in mind.

A cynical visitor could consider the enthusiasm of the monthly crowd as acting out some sort of fantasy. To the cynics I answer that these people, especially the girls, are totally holy in their innocence and innocent in their purity.

The prayers took place last Sunday night, several hours before the so-called Women of the Wall (WoW) gathered for their monthly routine of strutting their spirituality.

The Women of the Wall barely manage to get 100 women to make the trip to the Kotel each month. Last week was an exception, and they came up with approximately 700. One reason for the unusually large number was the 25th anniversary of their monthly outing. Secondly, many of the women were Americans who flew in for the event, and we will probably seem them again in another 25 years.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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.

One Response to “Meet the Women of the Temple Mount”

  1. Anonymous says:

    In another 25 years, G-d willing Mashiach will have come and these so-called "Women of the Wall" will finally understand the Truth and be doing t'shuvah for their chillul Hashem activities!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The flag of ISIS
ISIS Calls on Muslims to Kill Non-Muslims Everywhere, in Every Way
Latest News Stories
The flag of ISIS

ISIS urged all Muslims to kill all non-Muslims, and referred to Kerry as an ‘uncircumcised old Geezer.’

The ISIS spokesman issued a statement that said the coalition led by the United States against ISIS was the “final campaign of the crusaders.”

A Muslim social media campaign against ISIS was begun by the British Active Change Foundation.

British Muslims launch social media campaign against ISIS, called #NotInMyName.

A seniors’ tennis team from New York is going to a court of law to keep from playing a tournament on Shabbat.

The cease-fire does not mean Hamas can’t prepare to end it.

“How can you separate politics and health? The two go hand-in-hand.” – editor of Lancet medical journal.

7:30 pm From the Ginot Shomron CTU Commander: Official Announcement regarding the security incident in Ginot Shomron today: There was a reported sighting of a suspect in Ginot this afternoon. The suspect was most probably a teenager with a paintball rifle. There were no injuries, no arrests and there are no suspects. The entire incident […]

For the record, Jewish law allows you only to hear on shofar at a time on Rosh HaShanah.

Add BDS to the long list of those who never will forgive Obama.

The Mossad international intelligence agency has launched a new website to recruit potentially qualified candidates.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces that any citizen who went abroad to fight with jihad groups may as well stay there.

Kurdish fighters in Syria say they have stopped the advance of ISIS towards the town of Kobani near the Turkish border.

The US has allegedly sent military aid and intelligence to the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist organization, according to the NYT.

ISIS terrorists are preparing to defend captured territory and using human shields to do it, but they’re also living the high life with chocolate.

For the first time, Hezbollah has used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to bomb its enemies in Syria.

Turkey’s President Erdogan is meeting with Jewish and Armenian leaders in New York — but so what?

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Hamas terrorists prepare their version of the cease-fire.

The cease-fire does not mean Hamas can’t prepare to end it.

Ex-KKK Wizard David Duke.

“How can you separate politics and health? The two go hand-in-hand.” – editor of Lancet medical journal.

Add BDS to the long list of those who never will forgive Obama.

The exact location is secret because of safety concerns. How long before the PA claims it is theirs?

Israel welcomed 24,801 new immigrants this past year. Another 6-8 million did not make it – yet.

Benign neglect could be setting up Jews in eastern Jerusalem for “Gush Katif No. 2”

A good Jewish boy has a Bar Mitzvah at 13. A good Muslim fanatic joins the ISIS.

Mainstream media report “all the news to print that fits” the anti-Israeli agenda.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/the-other-side-of-israel-blog-women-of-the-temple-mount/2013/11/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: