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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
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Western Wall Rabbi: Respect the Muslims, Don’t Come to Pray

The Western Wall rabbi Wednesday may have taken the first step towards surrendering the Kotel to Muslims. He asked women and Temple Mount activists to respect Muslim sensitivities and to stay away.
Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount
Photo Credit: Ahmad Jaber / Flash90

Haredi men and women and the Women of the Wall movement made their monthly commotion at the Western Wall Wednesday morning,  ignoring pleas from the Western Wall rabbi to show “sensitivity” to Muslims and not to pray at the holy site.

The Women of the Wall also rejected a police request not to come with Tefillin, which are not used by women in traditional Judaism. However, police have successfully barred Jews from ascending the Temple Mount the entire week.

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz published a letter Tuesday, emphasizing “sensitivity and security at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan”, the Muslim holy month that concludes this week. Tens of thousands of Muslims crowd the Temple Mount for Muslim prayers in Ramadan, especially at the beginning and the end of the month.

Rabbi Rabinowitz has failed in the past to keep the Women of the Wall (WoW) away from the Kotel,  but his using “sensitivity to Muslims” as an excuse is exactly the kind of Ghetto mentality that has allowed Arabs to squeeze out political and religious concessions from Jews for decades.

The unprecedented closure of the Temple Mount to Jews for an entire week was a victory for the Waqf, the Muslim authority that runs the holy site to which Israel has surrendered de facto sovereignty. Harassment, insults and riots by Palestinian Authority Muslims have occasionally forced Jews to leave the Temple Mount, but they have become routine in recent weeks.

Police have allowed the violence to win the day, and Rabbi Rabinowitz’s “sensitivity” to Muslims broadcasts a strong signal that Jews are willing to give up their rights if it means causing a commotion.

Ironically, it is the Women of the Wall and Haredim who are not surrendering. Approximately 250 women showed up at the Western Wall Wednesday morning, which is the first fay of the Hebrew month of Elul and the first day of daily shofar blowing until the day before Rosh HaShanah, except for Shabbat.

An unusually large number of Haredim also showed up and filled up the women’s section, preventing the Women of the Wall from praying there.

Police also stopped a woman from breaking the rules of the Western Wall by bringing a Sefer Torah into the prayer area. The only Torah scrolls that are allowed to be used are those that already are in place, and, of course, Rabbi Rabinowitz does not allow women to use one of the Western Wall scrolls.

However, he had no problem breaking the rules and allowing Haredim to use a megaphone so they could pray louder and blow their whistles louder in order to aggravate the women.

Between the women’s singing and the whistles and shouts of the Haredim, the shofar sounded, heralding the People of Israel to repent for their sins towards the High Holy Days.

The Muslims, instead of scratching their heads at the absurdity of politics disguised by a costume of prayer  at the Western Wall, are probably celebrating the end of Ramadan as the first blow against true Jewish prayer at the Western Wall.

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.


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26 Responses to “Western Wall Rabbi: Respect the Muslims, Don’t Come to Pray”

  1. Nanette CohenRayman says:

    sensitivity to moslems? it that rabbi daft or a kapo?

  2. Veronica Varallo says:

    If the Muslims were worshiping and praying to our G-d, as they say Allah is… then it would not matter who was praying beside them. They would welcome a Jew to pray if truly their G-d was our G-d. But Allah is a false god and they are on our G-d's Land even His HOLY TEMPLE MOUNT. It does not belong to them and the are worshiping and praying to a false god….. Remember the warning's Ha'Shem gave to us about such carrying on in HIS LAND! L'Shalom Rabbi

  3. Gil Gilman says:

    Now it's time to respect Jews…when's that going to happen?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I agree that the muslims have created a G-d that they attribute so many false beliefs and statements that in effect he is a different G-d- it verges on Idol worship.

  5. Everyone knows Allah was the god of the moon in the Mecca pantheon of maybe 50 demigods. That's why there is a crescent on many flags such as Egypt and Turkey.

  6. Jacob Alperin-Sheriff says:

    You worship a far more false God (Jesus) than the Muslims do [Rambam Hilchot Avoda Zara]

  7. Tim Upham says:

    The Muslims pray on Friday, and the Jews pray on Saturday. So what is the controversy? There is room for both.

  8. Some are neglecting the fact that Al Lah is/was a moon God, Ashera, rituals still practiced today by Muslims, Ashera is also a Fertility Moon Goddess. Like ancient Christianity in order to coerce folks to worship the one God many rituals and festivals were aligned to Pagan. Islam is a mixture of Judaism, Christianity and Paganism though not in that order, more the reverse. Israel toughen up on your rights, if in fact Allah is supposedly Yahweh then as Veronica states all should be praying at the Temple of the Mount including Christians ergo if festivals coincide then all three major faiths be allowed to pray simultaneously.

  9. Some are neglecting the fact that Al Lah is/was a moon God, Ashera, rituals still practiced today by Muslims, Ashera is also a Fertility Moon Goddess. Like ancient Christianity in order to coerce folks to worship the one God many rituals and festivals were aligned to Pagan. Islam is a mixture of Judaism, Christianity and Paganism though not in that order, more the reverse. Israel toughen up on your rights, if in fact Allah is supposedly Yahweh then as Veronica states all should be praying at the Temple of the Mount including Christians ergo if festivals coincide then all three major faiths be allowed to pray simultaneously.

  10. Some are neglecting the fact that Al Lah is/was a moon God, Ashera, rituals still practiced today by Muslims, Ashera is also a Fertility Moon Goddess. Like ancient Christianity in order to coerce folks to worship the one God many rituals and festivals were aligned to Pagan. Islam is a mixture of Judaism, Christianity and Paganism though not in that order, more the reverse. Israel toughen up on your rights, if in fact Allah is supposedly Yahweh then as Veronica states all should be praying at the Temple of the Mount including Christians ergo if festivals coincide then all three major faiths be allowed to pray simultaneously.

  11. ederyav With lots of Pagan violence and sacrifices, Ashura just to name one.

  12. Ken N Bryan says:

    Very informative Vivi…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Right. Except Jews & Moslems both pray every day. And both have holy days that have special worshipping, that aren't necessarily on Friday or Saturday. And the Waqf (Moslems) have decided that Jews can't pray, even silently if their lips move, on our Temple Mount. And the Israeli police help enforce this.

  14. Tim Upham says:

    chavazl I have written to the Waqf and the Ministry of Religious Affairs about this. More people should write to it, but not in a way that is confrontational, because that is what the Waqf has always dealt with. If we talk about sharing not confrontation, then the Waqf will look at this differently.

  15. Anthony Davis says:

    Yahweh was merely a son of El Aliyon; this becomes clear in the Hebrew bible when El Aliyon gave to "the Lord", or "Yahweh", Jacob's descendants. El Aliyon was a Babylonian god, by the way.

  16. Anthony Davis says:

    And as usual, there is no room for women, b/c both fundamentalists of religions practice open and rampant misogyny.

  17. Anthony Davis says:

    When are the Jews going to respect women? If women want to pray out loud to their god at their own holy wall, they have a right to. Anything else is anti-Semitic and misogynistic.

  18. Gil Gilman says:

    Anthony Davis , peddle your nonsense all you like. I would wager you don't even see the self-contradiction in your blather

  19. Tim Upham says:

    Anthony Davis Women should not be excluded, because our ancestry is traced through women.

  20. Yechiel Baum says:

    Before Jewish woman are required to respect Moslem sensitivities, they should respect Jewish Holy places by dressing accordingly. I have seen Jewish women tourists entering the Vatican and churches but when coming to see Shuls, they dress disappropriately. Furthermore, have the Moslem respect our Holy places without rock throwing, Mezzuzot removal, our non-entry to our Holy places, making mezzuin noise on Shabbat, It is time we think about ourselves FIRST since it is the Jews who are the chosen ones.

  21. Allow WOW to worship at the site of the Womens Court of the 2nd Beit Hamikdash- located today between Al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.

  22. Allow WOW to worship at the site of the Womens Court of the 2nd Beit Hamikdash- located today between Al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.

  23. Bev Wotton says:

    Oh for shame! Yes Fools! to vie, in the name of G-d, for what is not yours alone, but loaned, for a time, to each and everyone of us by G-d–
    How presumcious, to assume the right to pray is exclusive and not inclusive.
    Is the manner of a man measured by One's ego? One's level of 'bulling' and 'suppression? or, the wealth of learning, freedom, peace, protection, laughter and celebration One has passed on to all those to whom G-d had given?
    Oh foolish One, be sore afraid! 'these 'cloak & daggar' games will return unto you, for G-d WILL NOT BE MOCKED!

  24. Bev Wotton says:

    I am disappointed with Rabbi Rabinowitz's stand… I find it hard to believe.

    Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/western-wall-rabbi-respect-the-muslims-dont-come-to-pray/2013/08/07/.

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