Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/flash90
Anat Hoffman of the Women of the Wall reads from the Torah at Robinson's Arch outside of the main Western Wall area.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the head of the heritage foundation, has written, in response to the arrests of women at the wall:

I have written this before and will write it again – the Western Wall is not Orthodox just as it is not Reform. The Western Wall was there many years before we sadly split into streams and camps, and will continue to stand strong, God willing, until the Mashiach comes. The Western Wall is the place of prayer for every individual in the nation, and as such, it must carefully safeguard the individual’s right to privacy and respect during the precious moments of prayer. The secret of the Western Wall is the secret of diminution which demands that each one of us minimize the traditions in which we differ and focus on what is common and which unifies us.

For this reason, and this reason alone, there will not be at the Western Wall a demonstration quorum of Women of the Wall, just as there will not be at the Western Wall a “gathering” of a Hassidic leader. This is the one place, perhaps the last, where we are all united as Jews. It would be terrible if here too we emphasize the differences among us. As the rabbi of the Western Wall, it is my job and my obligation to make sure this does not happen.

Rabbi Rabinovitz, told reporters last week: “Natan Sharansky spoke to me and it was agreed between us that there is no intention to deviate from Supreme Court decisions, nor from the orders of prayer at the Western Wall. However, Mr. Sharansky asked to reexamine the issue, and to that end he will visit the Western Wall in the coming days.”

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Office of the Prime Minister stated that this did not constitute the establishment of a committee on the matter. “Following requests reaching the office of the Prime Minister from world Jewry, Mr. Netanyahu asked Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky to investigate the matter and report to him,” the statement read.

JTA contributed to this report.

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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.
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