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.”
Israel’s minister of religious services, Naftali Bennett, acknowledged flaws in his plan for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.
Women of the Wall blew a shofar at the back of the Western Wall Plaza and raised a Torah scroll at the plaza’s gate under a heavy police barricade.
Recently, I went to a Women of the Wall service for Rosh Chodesh Av. It was my first time at one of their services, and I thought I was prepared for the ugliness I would see on the other side. I wasn’t.
I went to the Women of the Wall’s monthly prayer service at the Kotel. I had been there in February, standing in the men’s section to join the group protecting the women in the back-left section of the women’s section from potential eggs, chairs and slurs coming from Charedi men. I came back this time with my mother and my 11-year-old daughter, Noa. Several things amazed me about this visit on different ends of the emotional spectrum.
This is the week of Tisha b’Av, the 9th of Av, when we mourn the destruction of the Temples. Why are we still mourning when Israel has been reborn?
If there’s one thing the Palestinians are great at, it’s saying no. For years now, many peace-loving Jewish heads have been bruised from banging against the brick wall of Palestinian rejectionism.
Rabbi Laura Geller, a spiritual leader at the Reform Temple Emanuel Beverly Hills, knows firsthand about the restrictions on non-Orthodox Jewish women’s prayer at the Western Wall.
'There are no villains in this story.” Those were the calming words of Natan Sharansky, renowned human rights champion and Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The Russian-born Israeli Natan Sharansky, 65, a former member of the Knesset and now chair of the Jewish Agency, visited Los Angeles last week, hosted jointly by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills.
The Jewish Federations of North America’s board of trustees passed a resolution supporting Natan Sharansky’s proposed compromise on egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.
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.
Every week, dozens of bar mitzvah boys from Israel and the Diaspora celebrate their rite of passage at the Kotel, also known as the Western Wall, which, after the Temple Mount, is Judaism’s holiest site.
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.
American Jews held solidarity rallies in a variety of U.S. cities to protest Israeli limitations on women's prayer at Jerusalem's Western Wall.
Ten women participating in a women's prayer service with hundreds of worshippers and supporters at the Western Wall were arrested for wearing prayer shawls.
Sitting in his office 20 feet above the Western Wall Plaza, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz is unperturbed by the simmering tensions below.