Morning prayers were conducted today on the women's side of the Kotel by Women of the Wall, in defiance of rulings forbidding them to pray in the manner of orthodox Jewish men. Jerusalem, Israel. 06/01/2011. Headed by Executive Director Anat Hoffman, Woman of the Wall conducted their morning prayer and the welcoming of the Jewish month of Shevat, in the women's section at the Western Wall. Defying past court rulings the group wore scarf-like Talitot, prayer shawls, and read from the Torah - two characteristics of orthodox Jewish male customs, prohibited to women. In 2003 Israeli court rules against the religious activist group on the grounds that their behavior might cause disruption of public order at the Kotel, The Wailing Wall, based on the Protection of Holy Places Law that forbids holding a religious ceremony that is not according to local custom.
Women of the Wall mission statement: As Women of the Wall, our central mission is to achieve the social and legal recognition of our right, as women, to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall.
They did pray out loud this morning, and sang for that matter, but the reading of the Torah had to be done outside the main prayer compound in the Jerusalem Ophel Archeological Park, at the southern tip of the Western wall. Wearing colorful Talitot (prayer shawls), Kipot (head covering) and some with Tefillin (Jewish phylacteries) some 70 men and women prayed together and read from the Torah in a joyful and happy manner with respect to all regardless of sex and practiced traditions.
Anat HoffmanCeremonyIsraelIsrael Religious Action CenterJerusalemJewJewishJudaismKotelNashot HaKotelNir alonProgressive JudaismRosh ChodeshShevatTefillinWailing WallWestern WallWomen of the Wallbelieffaithholymiddle eastphylacteriespluralismprayprayerprayingreligionreligioussocietytalittorahwall201101065D018335WomenOfTheWall