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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The fuss about 'pluralistic prayer' at the Kotel (Western Wall)

I am sure that many of you, particularly in the US where the reactions have been shrill, have heard the fuss about the government 'abandoning' an agreement to facilitate 'pluralistic' prayers at the Western Wall. There's a lot of misinformation about this decision in the media. This video, which I found on Facebook last night, does a great job of clarifying what's really going on.

Let's go to the videotape (I included the entire Facebook post):

Another article, that destroys the claims about 'mixed prayers' being policy at the Kotel during the Mandatory (pre-State) period appears here:
Few seem to recall that the conflict between Arabs and Jews in British Palestine was directly related to the Kotel and Jewish demands for prayer rights there. The 1929 riots and pogroms against Jews was due to a conflict at the site and was referred to as the “Wailing Wall disturbances” for many years. According to an article on the subject, “The issue of Jewish rights of worship at the Wailing Wall flared up as a result of an incident on 24 September 1928 when the screen separating men and women at the Wall was removed by a British police officer in the midst of prayers on Yom Kippur.” Before 1967 Jews were forbidden from bringing many prayer items to the site. The lack of separation between men and women was not because Jews didn’t want separation, but because they were forbidden to change the site, because it was run by the authorities and Muslim religious leaders saw it as being owned by Muslims. Colonial authorities ran the Wall.
Let’s read on regarding the 1928 incident: “The ensuing outcry of world Jewry and the Zionist movement in the wake of the screen incident was accompanied by an increasing Jewish challenge to the status quo rights of worship at the Wall, as well as demands for possessing the Wall and its surrounding area. Indeed, during the 1920s a number of Zionist and Jewish leaders sought to expand the Jewish standing and rights of worship at the Wall.”
So at the heart of the Jewish and Zionist demands for increased rights to the Wall was the demand to separate men and women as in traditional Orthodox services. Wait a sec. But I thought the “good old days” back then men and women prayed together? Actually they only prayed “together” because Jews were forbidden from making any changes to the site by the British, who were listening to the Islamic Wakf and its demands for a “status quo.”
Read the whole thing

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At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the same time period (in addition to east-of-the-Jordan), the British were in bed with ibn Saud in his efforts to stabilize his control over the Peninsula. The Bedouin Ikwan which had supported him had rebelled. The British sent in heavy weapons.

The primary political heavy-lifting of the day had to be done among the Arabs, so the Arabs were getting the suck-up gratuities.


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