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20110307 Women of The Wall Welcome Adar II and Int'l Women's Day
Members of the group wore their tallitot (prayer shawls) as scarves, as the police instructed them to do, and read from the Torah -- acts that Jewish law permits women to perform, but that Israeli law has criminalized. In 2003, the Israeli Supreme court ruled against Women of the Wall on the grounds that their prayer services might cause disturbances at the Kotel. They based their ruling on the Protection of Holy Places Law, which forbids the conducting of a religious ceremony that is not according to local custom.
This morning, Women of the Wall prayed aloud and sang, according to their custom. But while they were in the main prayer compound, their Torah scroll had to remain outside, near the women's entrance to the Kotel plaza. Only later could they read from the Torah in the Jerusalem Ophel Archeological Park at Robinson's Arch, which is located at the southern tip of the Western Wall. Wearing colorful tallitot, kippot (skullcaps) and some with tefillin, some fifty women, with male supporters nearby, prayed together and read from the Torah with light and gladness, joy and honor.
On the men's side, a group of worshipers assembled close to the divider between the men's and women's sections, where they prayed loudly in an attempt to drown out the women's singing. One can guess that they had no idea that the next day was the hundredth anniversary of International Women's Day.
AdarAdar IIAnat HoffmanCeremonyHuman RightsInt'l Women's DayInternational Women's DayIsraelIsrael Religious Action CenterJerusalemJewJewishJudaismKotelNashot HaKotelNir alonPoliticsProgressive JudaismReligious CeremonyRosh ChodeshTefillinWailing WallWestern WallWomen of the Wallbelieffaithholymiddle eastpeoplephylacteriespluralismprayprayerprayingreligionreligioussocietytalittorahwallwomen's Rights201103075D020757NashotHakotel