Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Reform movement leader, MK Giiad Kariv (Labor) raises victoriously a Torah he was able to smuggle into the Kotel plaza using his parliamentary immunity, Rosh Hodesh Adar B, March 4, 2022.

Hundreds of members of the Reform and Conservative movements from Israel and the United States arrived on Friday morning at the Kotel plaza for the Rosh Chodesh Adar B prayer. They were met with enormous resistance from mostly Haredi Jews, including an estimated ten thousand seminary women who followed the instructions of two leaders of the Haredi Lithuanian public, Rabbis Chaim Kanievsky and Gershon Edelstein, to protest the Reform and Conservative presence. Large police forces separated the two parties of obviously God-loving Jews.

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The Reform prayer was held in the presence of the President of the Reform Movement in the United States, Rick Jacobs, who is on a visit to Israel.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with the leaders of the Reform movement in Israel and the Diaspora and stressed the need to allow the Reform members to enjoy equality in their prayer at the Kotel plaza, “the remains of our Temple.”

Just a reminder: the remains of our Temple are several yards up from the Kotel plaza, and Jews up there still have to struggle every day for their right to equality in prayer, but that’s not anything that seemed to bother Bennett or his Reform guests.

Anna Kislanski, Director-General of the Reform movement in Israel, told Reshet Bet radio: “We are strengthened following the meeting with Prime Minister Bennett this week, which was historic in terms of recognizing the liberal movements in Israel and the Diaspora. The Prime Minister spoke with us at length and acknowledged our need to pray as we do in the Israel Section at the Kotel without partitions and in an equal and respectful manner.”

Not respectful of folks who are offended by prayer without partitions, which makes the Kotel an unsafe place for Haredim.

Kislanski added that “the constant riots, which are still taking place today, justify our demand for the immediate implementation of the Western Wall layout. But even though they tried to prevent us from entering, we managed to enter the Western Wall with Torah scrolls and pray as usual.”

Yes, they did, in protest of the lack of progress on divvying up the Kotel real estate, the chairman of the Knesset Constitution Committee, MK Gilad Kariv (Labor), also the Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, brought a Torah scroll in, in defiance of the regulations, because he has parliamentary immunity.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.