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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Women for the Wall will be out in force on Wednesday

Wednesday morning is Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the new Jewish month, and once again thousands of Women for the Wall are coming out to pray - but not necessarily to be seen and certainly not to make a scene. Ronit Peskin appeals to other women to join them.
In the past few months, increasing numbers of Dati Le'umi (Religious Zionist) women have come to the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the new Hebrew month, , to join Women For the Wall in showing, through sincere prayer, Tefillah, that we wish to preserve an opportunity for undisturbed traditional prayer at the Wall. 
Why is this important? What is it that we hope to accomplish?
Let's start at the beginning. When King Solomon built the Holy Temple, Beit HaMikdash, thousands of years ago, he prayed that G-d should always hear our prayers when directed towards that site. The prophets said that the Kotel HaMa'aravi, the Western Wall, would never be destroyed, and whenever Jews were able to come to the Holy Land, we returned to pray there. 
And once the Wall was liberated from Jordan in 1967, Israeli Jews immediately requested a place for traditional prayer at the Holy site.
The plaza is less than 50 years old. It is less than 12%, of less than one sixth of the length of the Wall. Robinson’s Arch is one of several other exposed sections. No one is told they can't pray at “the Wall” in whatever fashion they choose, they are merely asked to respect tradition in this small section. It's not about the “ultra-Orthodox;” it's what every one of us – from all around the world, with all of our different and wonderful customs, minhagim – expect to find when we, as Jewish women, go to pray. 
The bottom line is this:
1. After 25 years, WOW is unable to bring 75 Israeli women to the Kotel.
2. The American students of HUC are trying to change the way that we pray in the Jewish State.
We support everyone's right to pray in their own fashion, including those who pray in accordance with millenia of Jewish tradition.
The Conservative and Reform movements have both endorsed Ezrat Yisrael, the area set up at Robinson's Arch, as a place for alternative prayers. WOW alone has put up untenable obstacles, including their demand to disrupt the traditional plaza even after they move. 
WOW should move to Religious Minister Naftali Bennett's new Ezrat Yisrael platform without delay, without telling the government how prayers at our traditional plaza should be run. WOW cannot dictate the terms under which they will stop trying to change us, stop insulting our intelligence, our independence, and our Judaism.
And that is why your prayers with us, on Wednesday, the second day of Rosh Chodesh at 7:30 am at the Kotel, are so important. We hope you will join us!
Read the whole thing.

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