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Tag: Kotel

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  • Ex-Shas chief on Western Wall agreement: A ‘horrible disaster’

    4 days ago

    A former head of the Shas Sephardic Orthodox party slammed the Israeli Cabinet’s approval to expand the egalitarian section of the Western Wall, joining several politicians who have ridiculed the deal and liberal movements of Judaism.

    “This is a horrible disaster and an attack on...

  • The Kotel compromise: Recognizing there is more than one way to be a Jew

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    5 days ago

    Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” In the case of the recently announced historic victory regarding egalitarian prayer at the Kotel (the Western Wall), it was...

  • Mixed emotions about the Kotel compromise

    5 days ago

    What’s the definition of mixed emotions, asks the old gag line: Finding out that your business competitor and rival has just driven off a cliff — in your new Lamborghini. 

    The Orthodox community has to greet news of the Kotel agreement similarly. We can hope that it will bring...

  • The Kotel decision: A Sephardic Jew responds

    5 days ago

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Kotel had no barrier separating the sexes. It was an open place of prayer, spirituality and meditation for all Jews. Those were the days when Jews were not branded by denominations. Somehow, this ancient, sacred space was transformed into a...

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  • At the Kotel, at last

    5 days ago

    I’m one of those fortunate people who gets to be in Israel for 10 days each year. I meet with the Ziegler rabbinical students studying there during their third year of our program, teach at various yeshivot, interview prospective students and meet with Masorti (Conservative)...

  • After Kotel compromise, dramatic changes still needed

    5 days ago

    There is much to rejoice over when considering the details of the Kotel compromise agreement. For the first time, there is going to be a section of this ancient site open to egalitarian and non-Orthodox worship alternatives, as well as partnership and women’s minyanim. It’s the...

  • Kotel compromise shows Israelis know they need American Jews

    6 days ago

    The relationship between Israel and American Jews is a complicated mix of good news and bad news, and this week’s government compromise on the Western Wall, or Kotel, is a case in point: It’s a step forward in providing access for non-Orthodox Jews, but may also reinforce the...

  • Why the Western Wall compromise matters – and doesn’t

    1 week ago

    Sunday, after decades of conflict, leaders of Judaism’s three major denominations reached a compromise on the future of prayer at the Western Wall, and got the Israeli government’s backing. The deal comes with a few important unknowns and will take a while to implement. Here’s why...

  • Three maps that explain the Western Wall compromise

    1 week ago

    The Western Wall compromise passed Sunday by Israel’s Cabinet represents a landmark interdemoninational consensus at what many consider to be Judaism’s holiest site.  But describing the deal can be confusing: One worship area will expand, the others will remain untouched and the...

  • The two Kotels solution: Cheer it with a grain of sadness

    By Shmuel Rosner

    1 week ago

    I am taking a short break from US election coverage. It is caucus day in Iowa, where I’m currently staying, and nothing means much until we have the results tonight (read my three latest stories from Iowa: Sanders and Israel: Please say something, Des Moines Diary: Duped by Trump...

  • Women of the Wall Abandons its Mission

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    1 week ago

    Social media is all abuzz today about the news about a “new” egalitarian prayer space that is being created in Jerusalem. Some are, mistakenly, hailing it as a great victory. I see it as an abandonment of its mission by an organization I have vocally supported for years, the Women...

  • Western Wall prayer fight ends with historic compromise

    1 week ago

    Israel's government on Sunday approved a compromise to expand the non-Orthodox Jewish prayer section of the Western Wall, putting to rest the decades-long fight between Women of the Wall and Israel's haredi Orthodox religious establishment.

    The deal achieves what had been an...

  • Women light Chanukah candles at Western Wall

    December 7, 2015 | 3:21 pm

    About 100 women gathered at the Western Wall to light Chanukah candles.

    Security guards permitted 20 women to enter with their menorahs, but then attempted to ban and confiscate a large communal one being brought in by the Women of the Wall organization.

    Knesset member Ksenia...

  • Western Wall rabbi ordered to include women in Israel’s Chanukah candle-lighting

    December 1, 2015 | 10:27 am

    The Attorney General’s Office in Israel has ordered the rabbi of the Western Wall to include women in the annual national candle-lighting ceremony for Chanukah.

    “Preventing women from participating in national ceremonies is wrongful discrimination and we request that you ensure...

  • Bring Struggle for Western Wall, Cave of the Patriarchs, and Rachel’s Tomb to UNESCO’s Sponsors

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    October 20, 2015 | 11:32 pm

    • UNESCO corporate and governmental sponsors need to publically distance themselves from UNESCO as it erases Jewish history
    • Sponsors include Google, Panasonic, A&E, Germany, Smithsonian, EarthWatch and others (list of UNESCO World Heritage Partners)
    • Hijaking of UNESCO's...
  • Nine more Jewish symbols UNESCO should claim for other religions

    October 20, 2015 | 12:44 pm

    On Monday, news broke that UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency, is to vote on a Palestinian-backed proposal declaring the Western Wall a Muslim site.

    The last remnant of the long-destroyed Jewish Temple, the Western Wall is hands-down Judaism’s holiest site and arguably...

  • UNESCO head ‘deplores’ proposal declaring Western Wall a Muslim site

    October 20, 2015 | 10:27 am

    The head of the United Nations cultural agency said she “deplores” a proposal under discussion by the agency’s executive board that would declare the Western Wall a Muslim holy site.

    Irina Bokova, the director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural...

  • UNESCO to vote on proposal declaring Western Wall a Muslim site

    October 19, 2015 | 2:21 pm

    A Palestinian effort to have a United Nations agency declare Judaism’s holiest site a Muslim holy site is “an attempt to distort history,” Israel said.

    UNESCO, the U.N.’s cultural body, is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the proposal concerning the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

    In a...

  • What’s behind Abbas’ dangerous religious war gambit?

    September 24, 2015 | 10:16 am

    On Wednesday morning I had the privilege of joining Sephardic Minyan at Judaism’s holiest site-the Western Wall on our holiest day, Yom Kippur. Wrapped in my white Kittel and Tallit, the minyan felt like a local call to heaven. Prayers for family, for good health, for friends in...

  • Palestinian Perfidy at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee: A direct assault on the core of Judaism

    July 9, 2015 | 1:43 pm

    The 39th UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) has just ended its ten day annual meeting, this year in Bonn, Germany. Once again,the Wiesenthal Centre was the only accredited Jewish NGO

    Since the Palestinians's admittance to UNESCO in November 2011 they have wreaked havoc, best...

  • Fisking “Religions Minister: ‘Reform Jews Are a Disaster to the Nation’”

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    June 17, 2015 | 10:00 am

    Sometimes you read an article that is just crying out for a fisk.

    “Religious Affairs Minister David Azulai (Shas) and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) met on Tuesday to discuss the Women of the Wall (WoW), who despite being given an egalitarian area…”

    Being given an...

  • Why yesterday’s Women of the Wall drama is a big deal — and why it isn’t

    April 21, 2015 | 9:11 am

    A man was trampled. A raucous protest broke out, restrained only by police. The Western Wall’s mechitza — a partition between men and women considered sacrosanct — was breached by those who ostensibly care about it most.

    The brouhaha that erupted yesterday at Women of the Wall’s...

  • Women of the Wall smuggle Torah scroll into Kotel plaza

    October 24, 2014 | 12:16 pm

    Women who defied Western Wall Plaza rules by bringing a small Torah scroll there were allowed to finish praying.

    The decision to allow a few dozen members of the Women of the Wall feminist group to continue their prayer was made to prevent desecration of the scroll even though...

  • Robinson’s Arch deal riles Reform and Conservative leaders

    February 27, 2014 | 6:11 pm

    Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements expressed concern over reports that the Israeli government agreed to put a right-wing organization in charge of the Robinson’s Arch area of the Western Wall.

    In a letter sent Thursday to Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit, who is...

  • Listen to the voices of our sisters

    November 27, 2013 | 11:40 am

    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...

  • Women on both sides of Kotel debate to share stage at JFNA GA

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    November 1, 2013 | 10:23 am

    When American Jewish leaders gather in Jerusalem for the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly later this month, they’ll have the opportunity to hear from top Israeli political leaders on a variety of issues. They’ll also have the chance to witness the first...

  • Bennett urges patience on Western Wall plan

    August 30, 2013 | 9:02 am

    Israel’s minister of religious services, Naftali Bennett, acknowledged flaws in his plan for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.

    “I know that the temporary platform is not perfect,” Bennett wrote in a letter reported by Haaretz Thursday. “But, in the spirit of Rosh Hashana, I...

  • Women of the Wall, shielded by police, raises Torah scroll and blows shofar

    August 7, 2013 | 9:08 am

    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.

    The police shielded the the estimated 300 women and their male supporters on Wednesday morning at the back of the plaza, facing the...

  • Father and daughter at the Wall: Battle of the heart

    July 17, 2013 | 3:50 pm

    On July 8, Rabbi Adam Kligfeld, senior rabbi at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, attended a Woman of the Wall prayer service at the Western Wall in Jerusalem with his 11-year-old daughter, Noa. The Journal asked them to write about the experience, each from their own perspective.

    ...
  • Father and daughter at the Wall: Amid whistles, prayer endures

    July 17, 2013 | 3:36 pm

    On July 8, Rabbi Adam Kligfeld, senior rabbi at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, attended a Woman of the Wall prayer service at the Western Wall in Jerusalem with his 11-year-old daughter, Noa. The Journal asked them to write about the experience, each from their own perspective.

    I...

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