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Friday, May 10, 2013

Women for the Wall

I received this by email (Hat Tip: Leah P). I realize it's probably too late for many of my readers, but next month....
Dear Fellow Jewish Woman,

I am requesting your help in an urgent project for Klal Yisrael.

You may have heard of a group calling themselves the "Women of the Wall," led by someone representing the American Reform movement. Their members go down to the Kotel HaMa'aravi on Rosh Chodesh wearing Tallis and Tefillin, read loudly from a Sefer Torah, and otherwise "go through the motions" of men's davening in order to make their feminist point. Through their confrontations with others at the Kotel and with police, and the group's enlistment of media'" the Women of the Wall have fostered strife and created a tremendous Chilul HaShem, especially in the United States, where they have successfully cast their political theater as a "women's rights" issue. Most recently, their leader, Anat Hoffman, called for the mechiza to removed daily from the Kotel at 9 AM and that the Kotel be redsignated from a religious site to a National Monument. Clearly, the sanctity of the Kotel is at risk.

HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, the Gerrer Rebbe and the Belzer Rebbe have all said that the groups efforts must be opposed. R' Chaim and Rav Berkovitch in particular have already given his blessing to our approach specifically.

You are exemplars of what a true Bas Yisrael is supposed to be- a very different image from that of the women seeking to change the character of the Kotel. Sivan is the month when we got the Torah and were mekabel ol malchus shamayim as a nation- K'ish Echad Bilev Echad- all in unity.

This Rosh Chodesh, Rosh Chodesh Sivan, we are assembling a large group of frum women to go to the Kotel and daven together, limaan am Yisrael, limaan Kdushas am Yisrael, Limaan the Torah, and Limaan Achdus Am Yisrael. We will simply be at the Kotel, being mispallel and reciting Tehillim - before the "Women of the Wall" show up with their media circus at 7:00 AM. The Women of the Wall have no more than 100 members in all, and we know that many, many more women who go to the Kotel strongly object to what they are doing.

Those who join us to daven to Hashem will NOT be requested or encouraged to interrupt their davening, confront the other women, or address the media. On the contrary, that would all be counterproductive. Simply by being present and standing apart, we will be sending the silent but powerful message that the attack the Women of the Wall have launched is not at all about "women's rights" but rather about trying to change traditional Jewish practice.

We urge you to please come join us on Erev Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh Sivan, May 10, at 6:30 AM. Please let us know if count upon you to encourage their participation.

If you want any further information about our group, our intentions, and the wide Rabbinic support that we already have "behind the scenes," don't hesitate to contact me directly. 050-710-1791 or 02-997-2261

Buses will be provided if needed.


Mrs. Ronit Peskin

Director, Women FOR the Wall


Kol HaKavod.

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At 5:57 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

the "women " in the photo look pretty masculine to me.
no very masculine

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Chana said...

Chair throwing is traditionally a men's mitzvah among the haredim. The women are allowed to scream and spit, but generally refrain because of kavod ha-tzibbur.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The Women of the Wall is not a Reform organization; it is a group of women from Orthodox,Conservative,Reform and Reconstructionist movements and their male supporters.It's amazing that such a diverse group as WoW has continued to pray together for 25 years and has written an interdenominational siddur to celebrate Rosh Chodesh.

You misunderstand and misrepresent the actions of women associated with WoW. They pray in their various traditions and with true Kavanah. Saying otherwise does not make it so. Because you come of out of a part of our shared tradition that makes sharp distinctions between men's and women's prayer and use of holy objects in prayer, it may be difficult to understand that women who pray with tallitot and tfilin and read from the sefer Torah are not doing it to be like men. They are taking on these mitzvot with serious devotion, and their practices are common in some Orthodox and all Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist religious communities, worldwide.

I saw a Chilul Hashem today in the violence and anger directed at them. I saw a women who came to the Kotel in opposition to WoW throw a Wow siddur on the ground and step on it. This is a Chilul Hashem because the name of the Kodesh Baruchu is in the siddur. The siddur has in it all the familiar prayers, from Birchot Hashcar through the Rosh Chodesh Musaf. I picked up the siddur and kissed it.

We all know the story of Miriam and tsaraat. We learn from it that we are not supposed to engage in lashon hara. How much more so that we should not interrupt another's prayers or physically attack another. How much more so should we agree that we may not agree, but that our disagreement is for the sake of Shamyim.

How is it possible that we don't recognize that we are all praying to the One, and B"H, may we be answered in our prayers for the good of all and glory of Hashem!

Today, I praised G!d and I prayed for deepened respect among the different groups within the Jewish people. I prayed for the elevation of the souls of those who were spitting upon and interrupting the prayers of others. I pray that as time goes on, all will realize that we can pray near each other and know that we are all btzelem elokim.

I know that you may not publish this post because it does not follow your beliefs, but I thank you for reading it. PLEASE do your own research about WoW and don't accept as fact the misinformation that has been circling as truth.
Chodesh Tov,
Laurie Franklin

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

Surely you're mistaken.

These are Women Off the Wall.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

As far as Women of the Wall goes...

I personally believe that the Kotel should have a time and space for egalitarian prayer, and failing that, Jewish women do not go against Halacha (even Orthodox Halacha!) by praying in women-only prayer groups, even with tallis and tfillin. I also believe the Temple Mount should have Jewish prayer.

In short I support religious freedom. I believe this is the only intellectually consistent position to take. Anything less is frankly freedom for me but not for thee.

At 6:58 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

What I find to be disturbing are the excuses given for the violence committed by the Haredim against Women of the Wall. Why is it ever okay to spit at these women, throw their siddurim on the ground, or behave like animals? How is that in any way advancing holiness?

I would be the first to admit that the Women of the Wall have a political agenda and are run by the Reform and Masorti movements. So what? Does that excuse this behavior? And why can't women have a place to pray at the Kotel that - in keeping with Halacha - allows them to practice the Judaism they believe in in peace?

Of course I also support the ability of Jews to pray at the Temple Mount, but you CANNOT claim it should be allowed for Jews to pray at the Temple Mount - despite the jihadi opposition and security concerns - but then say security concerns caused by rioting Haredim necessitates women to shut up and stay hidden at the Kotel.

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

The presence of a few token allegedly ortho women does not make the WoW any more kosher than the LA kapo Peace Now supporting rabbi makes that traitorous group kosher. Nor did the presence of the NRP in Ben Gurions cabinet make the paid cutting kosher.

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Barbara2 said...

This kind of nastiness just succeeds in driving Jews away. Too often people make their religion their god and God gets lost in all the rituals and rules men have made up. No wonder so many Jews are secular!


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