Photo Credit: WOW email

On the same day thirteen and a half year old Hallel Yaffa Ariel from Kiryat Arba was murdered in her bed by a 17-year-old Arab, and just as hundreds assembled to bury her on Thursday afternoon, the organization Women of the Wall sent out an email blast with the subject: “Demand Justice for Frannie.”

It turns out there were other girls out there whose suffering needed our attention. In the case of twelve-year-old Frannie — well, she is “traveling over 6,000 miles to join Women of the Wall for her Bat Mitzvah. Will she be able to hold a Torah scroll on her special day?”


Yes, this is what constitutes an urgent cause these days in the minds of the organizers of the WOW: will this American girl, who could have her Bat Mitzvah literally anywhere else on the planet, including all of the land of Israel (other than the Temple Mount, where Jews these days are verboten) — will she be embracing a Torah scroll in front of the supporting wall King Herod erected outside the temple he renovated circa year zero.

Women of the Wall will meet next week on July 7 at 7AM in the women’s section of the Western Wall for Rosh Hodesh Tammuz prayers and for Frannie’s Bat Mitzvah. And they declare with fierce determination: “We will ensure that Frannie has a Torah scroll to read from for her Bat Mitzvah ceremony.”

Indeed, the urgent email continues, “Despite police harassment, intimidation and detainments, we will be bringing a Torah scroll in to the Kotel. Will there be more arrests? Will another woman be arrested for the act of simply holding a precious Torah scroll?”

This is so brave and subversive. It’s also going to take place around the time the family members of Hallel Yaffa Ariel will rise from the Shiva week, so maybe they, too could come and support the courage of the WOW.

With about 300 people in all of Israel giving a hoot about Reform Judaism in general and the WOW in particular, and in light of the seriously tough times Israelis are having these days, Women of the Wall Executive Director Lesley Sachs could have probably waited a couple of days with her urgent message this time.

Happy birthday, Frannie, may you grow up to marry a Jewish guy some day if you are so inclined.



  1. Unfortunately I agree. Judism is a MALE DOMINATED religion that needs to conform with the times. It's the Women who bring forth life, and this should be RESPECTED by man, G-d, and the orthodox rabbi. Essentially, it is the Jewish woman who has brought forth and preserved the Jewish faith.

  2. Ruth,
    What do you know about Judaism and Jewish law? Are you attending classes of "Shulchan Aruch"? I highly doubt it, because you do soung like an ignorant person regarding normative, traditional Judaism, which you claim to characterise out of ignorance!!!.

  3. Zvi Gross I may be an ignorant person, BUT even in ignorance, I am entitled to my opinion. AND, just like a "man", you characterize me as a moron. I believe, I stand up, and I am PROUD TO BE A JEW….maybe not "your" kind of Jew but a believer none the less. Good Shabbos my friend.

  4. Ruth
    Jewish life enriches those who LIVE it, and stupid those who don't – unfortunately.
    Please approach a practicing Rabbi in your community and start observing and learning and you will find out what being a Jew is really all about.

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