I returned from Israel during the week of Vayislach, when we read the story of Jacob’s famous nocturnal wrestling match and the painful story of Dina, his daughter. The midrash, in explaining why Jacob speaks of his 11 children when in fact he has 12, tells us that Jacob locked his daughter in a chest so Esau wouldn’t see her. “And for that, Jacob was punished. … For perhaps she would have led him back to the right way.”
A Chanukah miracle couldn’t hurt as the Clippers face off against the top-ranked Indiana Pacers. Stephen S. Wise Temple’s Cantor Nathan Lam opens the game with the singing of the national anthem. There will also be a menorah lighting, a Q-and-A session with rabbis and a special halftime performance by the Body Poets. Add in kosher food and a free T-shirt, and this Chanukah celebration is bound to be a slam-dunk.
The key dispute in the recent feud between Women of the Wall and some of the group’s founders is whether Robinson’s Arch — an area adjacent to the Kotel plaza meant for egalitarian prayer — counts as the Western Wall.
From wars and elections to scandals and triumphs, here’s a look back at the highlights of the Jewish year 5773.
Until recently, Women of the Wall (WoW) was but a distant blip on my radar. All that was changed as I came across a BBC interview, in which a prominent WoW member painted Israel as a misogynist country oppressing women. I felt I could not remain silent.
Women of the Wall conducted its monthly prayer service at the Western Wall plaza with an occasional disturbance from protesters, but the worshipers were kept far from the wall itself.
In the last two years, the Western Wall in Jerusalem — also known as the Kotel — has become a place of controversy as much as of worship. It’s the site of a battle that has long been waged by a group called Women of the Wall, who are demanding they be able to pray in the women’s section wearing tallits — Jewish prayer shawls — and also be permitted to read from the Torah, rights that the rabbi of the Kotel, backed by the police, wouldn’t give them.
Haredi Orthodox youth mobbed the Western Wall plaza by the thousands to protest Women of the Wall as they held their monthly prayer service.
There comes a time in any successful movement for change or reform for cashing in, and it is often a time of crisis. Getting so close to achieving a goal, one has to struggle with two challenges: the temptation to overreach — and pass on a deal that might be the best realistic one — and the difficulty of having to accept the less glorious (and more mundane) missions of a reformed reality.
Women will be prohibited from saying the Mourner's Kaddish and other prayers at the Western Wall, Jerusalem police told Women of the Wall.
If ever there were a gathering of Women of the Wall that was going to spark a wider conflict, Tuesday’s would have been the one.
Three female members of Knesset joined the Women of the Wall for their monthly prayer service at the Western Wall.
He brought unprecedented attention to the plight of Soviet Jewry. He stood up to the KGB. He survived nine years in Siberia. He served in Israel’s fractious government.
It’s easy to dismiss the antics of Warrior of the Wall Anat Hoffman. Her guerrilla gatherings of women in vocal prayer services at the Kosel Maaravi, or Western Wall, in defiance of an Israeli Supreme Court decision and in affront to the traditional Jewish men and women who most frequent the prayer site, are legend.
In a packed synagogue hall on Monday night, Nov. 26, Israel’s Consul General David Siegel posed a question: How many people present care deeply about religious pluralism in Israel?
Sitting in his office 20 feet above the Western Wall Plaza, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz is unperturbed by the simmering tensions below.
The arrest of Israeli feminist Anat Hoffman at the Western Wall last month sent ripples of alarm across the Jewish world, and leaders in Los Angeles will address their concerns about religious pluralism in Israel to Los Angeles’ Israeli Consul General in a public forum Nov. 26 at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said American Jews should no longer acquiesce to Israeli state-sanctioned discrimination against women and non-Orthodox Jews.
Rob Eshman correctly notes that tzedakah is not merely charity but is also a religious and community response about social justice (“Entitled,” Oct. 19). Nowadays, “entitlements” are frequently used as a synonym for charity. However, Eshman inadvertently undercuts his own argument by failing to point out an essential fact: For working Americans, Social Security and Medicare are earned benefits paid for by payroll deductions.
A Jewish Agency committee has adopted a resolution calling for a "satisfactory approach" to prayer at the Western Wall.
More than 2,500 people signed up to participate in a global Shema flash mob as part of a campaign to promote religious pluralism in Israel. The gatherings early Monday afternoon came two days after Conservative Jewish congregations were asked to dedicate a recitation of the Shema to the topic as well.
Last week’s episode was hardly the first time Israeli police stopped activist Anat Hoffman while she was leading a women’s prayer service at the Western Wall in violation of Israeli law.
Reform Jewish leaders are calling for an investigation following reports that an Israeli colleague was roughed up by police after leading a women’s prayer group at the Western Wall.
Jerusalem police arrested the leader of Women of the Wall for singing at the Western Wall.
A multidenominational rally denouncing the Israeli police's arrest of the Women of the Wall leader was held outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington.