Photo Credit: Screenshot
Naftali Bennett's Kotel platform

“Revolution for Women and Jewish Pluralism in Israel,” declared on Sunday the Women of the Wall Facebook page, announcing that the Israeli government has approved the “Mendelblit Plan for a third, pluralist prayer section at the Western Wall. In approving this plan, the state acknowledges women’s full equality and autonomy at the Kotel and the imperative of freedom of choice in Judaism in Israel.”

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) told Army Radio ahead of Sunday’s cabinet vote that the proposal for a new section, where men and women can pray together, is superfluous “and harms Jewish tradition which is important to all of us. The Reform from Israel and particularly from abroad are intentionally doing damage to our cherished values, and letting them into the [southern end of the] Western Wall will hurt traditional Israeli citizens.”

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“The Kotel plaza has always been a unifying element for the Jewish people and the current proposal will only cause quarrels and splits,” Ariel warned. “Two years ago a plaza was prepared for the Reform, but in reality it has remained empty most of the time,” he noted, adding, “Revoking the authority of the chief rabbinate—established by the late Rav Kook—over the new site is a slippery slope that threatens the future of the relationship among different parts of the Jewish nation.”

The cabinet resolution agrees to men and women praying together on the non-Orthodox fenced platform at the southern part of the Kotel. The new plaza will be open and available 24/7. Also, the new plaza will be outside the control of the Kotel rabbi, and be governed by a new public committee.

According to Ha’aretz, the Religious Services Ministry will not provide funding for the separate plaza plan, arguing that the move would be perceived as recognition of non-Orthodox Jewish movements in Israel. The Center for Women’s Justice threatened to oppose any deal that prevented women from praying out loud as a group, and from wearing talit and tefillin in the current women’s section.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. At least they won't disturb the men and women who want to daven separately k'halacha (according to Jewish law). Now, those orthodox women of the "Women of the Wall" will have to make a decision once and for all whose camp they are in, as they won't be able to daven in the new mixed group.

  2. Government should have nothing to do with religion. When government bosses religion around, real religion is the loser. When religious freedom is allowed, the free market allows people to make their own decisions and everybody wins. The whole idea of a "Jewish State" not only spits in the face of religious freedom (in the Jeffersonian sense), but is also against the Torah. I really think more people in Israel would be religious if the Rabbanut were privatized and didn't have any control over government issues. Freedom works both ways and the Orthodox have more to gain by freedom of religion like we have here in America than the hegemony they have in Israel following the old British and general European system of theocracy-lite. We see America is the most religious Modern Western nation in the world while the European countries with official state religions have turned their populace off from religion in general. The spiritual free market of America has been a boon for religion in America just as the financial free market has lead to the best innovations in technology and inventions in America, while government-run systems have been mediocre at best, and the epitome of evil at worst. While I personally prefer Orthodox synagogues, I welcome the steps toward freedom I see in Israel, and look forward to the day that they will announce that Israel is no longer a Jewish State. That will bring Moshiach, as the Gemara tells us clearly that before that day, Moshiach cannot come, as it says אין בן דוד בא עד שתכלה מלכות הזולות מישראל

  3. Well hello there "Rabbi".
    I see you are continuing to spew your hatred for Israel while transgressing one of the most feared Issurim of your crazy community. The Treif internet is working over time by you I see…
    How many times do I have to prove to anyone reading your garbage that you are a total Am Haaretz.
    In terms of your Jewish State against Halacha statement, every single Gadol since Israel was declared disagrees with you. The Satmar Rebbe was a single opinion and not accepted by anyone else.
    For those who would like to understand just how perverted Joseph is read this very clear and concise explanation: http://israelshield.blogspot.co.il/2015/02/when-jews-use-religion-to-hate-israel.html
    I have an idea Joseph, how about bring a single Halachic source (Shulachan Aruch, Ramabam, Ramban, Yalkut Ysef or any other halachic source outside Satmar that agrees with your reform Judaism.
    One source Joseph, I am waiting.
    I am so happy you brought the Gemara
    אין בן דוד בא עד שתכלה מלכות הזולות מישראל
    The satmar rebbe states that Rashi holds that this passuk is talking about a Jewish government, HOWEVER, if you were not such an Am Haaretz, you would actually look up the passuk in the Navi and see that it is talking about Eisav or Gog Umagog…according to RASHI! The Satmar Rebbe misquoted Rashi! Look it up and stop being such a troll.
    If anything it is your obnoxiioous reform of Halacha that has brought about the other reform of halacha. It is a reaction to your misquoting and all out stupidity. You have turned Halacha into your playing ground and now so have others.

  4. I persoally do not understand people who have no respect for 2,000 year old tradition why they are making a big deal about davening at a 2,000 year old wall.
    You changed the tradition? Build a new wall somewhere.
    If tradition means nothing to you and you want to change then why go to the place that symbolizes the same tradition you are opposed to…
    Did women Kohanim do Avoda?
    Women of the wall? Please…

  5. "Rabbi" Kolakowski, what you are saying is very true in a liberal, religious state that has religion only as god. But any true worshipper of the one True God must disagree wholeheartedly with you. I live in America. What is "free" here is liberalism. But those who practice holiness as laid out in the sacred Scriptures, are not that free here, and we are becoming less free as time goes on. There will NEVER be a time in history when Israel fails to exist as a Jewish state because Hashem said it would be so. God gave to Abraham all of that land forever. HE will never allow the descendants of Abraham to be removed from this land again because of His own Holy, Righteous Name. So, your "theology" is contrary to what God Himself has said. And so, what you are saying will NEVER come about!

  6. I don't know how I feel about this. I do believe a lot of the segregation of men and women as presented in the Bible, was cultural. I don't believe women should be marginalized under any circumstances. To my knowledge, there are no guidelines in the Tanach on how worship should take place at the WALLS that were around the Temple. Still….

  7. Jeffrey Dorfman , of course, nothing excuses one from throwing stones, if that is true. However, it is the Women of the Wall who have been disturbing other women worshippers by wearing talis and tefillin and reading the Torah which go against Jewish mesora. When they start singing, it affects the men who are not supposed to listen to women singing (Kol Isha). The status quo has been disturbed by the Women of the Wall, and it will no longer be.

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