June 21, 2012
Woman praying in tallit detained at Western Wall, questioned by police
Israeli police detained a woman wearing a tallit at the Western Wall and later questioned her for four hours.
The woman was participating Thursday in a rosh chodesh prayer service held monthly at the Wall by the Women of the Wall organization. Police were present during the service and filmed it, according to Women of the Wall.
Wearing a traditional white prayer shawl with black stripes, the woman was approached by police during the service and asked to wear the tallit as a scarf rather than a shawl. The woman complied with the request, according to Women of the Wall.
As she left the Western Wall plaza she was detained by police, who said the woman returned to wearing the tallit as a shawl, and taken to police headquarters in the Old City, where she was questioned for four hours.
Upon her release she was ordered to stay away from the Western Wall for seven days.
In 2003, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a government ban on women wearing tefillin or tallitot, or reading from a Torah scroll at the Western Wall.
Last month, three women from Women of the Wall were stopped for questioning after praying at the Wall in prayer shawls. They also had been asked to wear the tallitot as scarves rather than shawls.