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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Lesley Sachs’

Women of the Wall Win in District Court

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The Jerusalem District Court handed down its decision on Thursday in The State of Israel, Israel Police vs. Lesley Sachs, Bonnie Riva Ras, Sylvie Rozenbaum, Rabbi Valerie Stessin, and Sharona Kramer, the five women who were arrested on April 11, 2013 while praying at the Western Wall.

Judge Moshe Sobell decided against the police appeal, confirming the Magistrate Court decision by Judge Sharon Larry-Bavly, which stated that there was no cause for arrest and that the women did not disturb the public order. The women were released with no conditions and police request for a restraining order against their entering the Kotel site was rejected.

Judge Sobell also declared that the Supreme Court decision of 2003 was never intended to serve as an injunction that would make the women’s prayers while clad in tallitot a criminal violation. The judge added that there is no reasonable suspicion that the women are violating the Supreme Court decision. As to the High Court recommendation that the women pray in the Robinson’s Arch, Sobell declared that this does not necessarily mean that the women are prohibited from praying at the Western Wall’s women’s section.

The judge also declared that the women are not violating the restriction in the law governing sacred sites, which says that visitors at the Western Wall are to pray and hold religious celebrations according to the “local custom.” In the judge’s view, the “local custom” should to be interpreted with national and pluralistic implications, and not necessarily the Orthodox Jewish customs of the city of Jerusalem.

As to the charge of endangering or disturbing the public peace, the Judge ruled that even if the women had behaved in a way that disturbed the public order, they never posed a danger to the public peace. The women were in no way suspect of violent or verbally unruly behaviors that would endanger the public.

Judge Sobell ruled that there are to be no limitations imposed on the accused women.

Anat Hoffman, Chairperson of Women of the Wal, said, “Today Women of the Wall Liberated the Western Wall for all Jewish People. We did it for the eight year old girl who can now dream of having her Bat Mitzvah at the Wall, and for the grandmother who cannot climb on a chair in order to see her son’s Bar Mitzvah. We did it for the great diversity of Jews in the world, all of whom deserve to pray according to their belief and custom at the Western Wall.”

It is not yet known whether the police is considering appealing today’s ruling at the Supreme Court.

Police Arrest 10 Women of the Wall as Liberating Paratroopers Watch

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Police said they arrested for “endangering public peace” 10 women who took part in a Rosh Chodesh (first day of the new month) prayer service at the Western Wall.

The women were taken in for questioning. They are members of the Women of the Kotel organization who demand to be allowed to conduct prayer services at the Kotel.

This time, the 300 or so women were accompanied by just under 10 of the very IDF paratroopers who liberated the Kotel in 1967, and who told the press they had sacrificed to make the holy site available to all Jews, not just to a certain segment of the nation.

Police behavior was a bit more restrained this time around, as they waited patiently until the women were done praying before taking them in. But Shira Pruce, Director of Public Relations for WOW, told The Jewish Press that police behavior was “sneaky,” or at least confusing, seeing as they arrested the women after they had already cleared the area.

Unlike the cops, Orthodox Jewish men did not respond at all to the praying women. In the past the women’s service tended to provoke the more Haredi congregants in the men’s section. This despite the fact that several women were wrapped in prayer shawls.

“Remarkably, today’s t’filah was beautiful and peaceful,” said Pruce. “Maybe a few Haredi women walked by and called us names. But the police told them to keep walking. With that tiny exception, it was so peaceful, it didn’t bother anyone. No one was upset.”

Pruce told The Jewish Press she and her fellow congregants made no attempt to tone down their prayers. “We sang, we danced—when we women get together for prayer, we ‘milk’ it, we enjoy it.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/police-arrest-10-women-of-the-wall-as-liberating-paratroopers-watch/2013/02/11/

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