Jewish Journal

Tag: Kotel

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  • Woman at The Wall

    By Danielle Berrin

    August 24, 2016 | 2:30 pm

    Erev Shabbat brings a beautiful chaos to the Kotel, a swaying sea of souls, singing, screaming, offering up their spirits, just to be a speck beneath a tower of history.

    I had never visited the Kotel on Shabbat before, but last week I found myself eagerly entreating the tznius...

  • How to implement a Kotel emergency plan

    By Shmuel Rosner

    June 2, 2016 | 4:39 am

    The leaders of the Jewish Federation system, the leaders of the Conservative movement, and the leaders of Reform Judaism spent some time with the Prime Minister of Israel yesterday in a so-called “emergency meeting” concerning the Western Wall compromise. The compromise, as I...

  • Women of the Wall eschew priestly blessing at Western Wall holiday services

    April 25, 2016 | 4:18 pm

    The Women of the Wall group held Passover holiday prayers at the Western Wall, but did not hold a priestly blessing ceremony, after being banned by Israel’s attorney general.

    Some 200 women arrived at the Western Wall on buses from throughout the country to hold the Shacharit, or...

  • Israel’s attorney general bars women from reciting priestly blessing at Kotel

    April 21, 2016 | 2:06 pm

    Israel’s attorney general banned Women of the Wall from holding a priestly blessing ceremony at the Western Wall.

    The group, which advocates for women’s right to perform rituals that the Western Wall’s Orthodox authorities maintain are reserved for men, had planned to hold a...

  • Israeli gov’t gets another 3 months to come up with Western Wall egalitarian plan

    April 4, 2016 | 3:30 pm

    The Supreme Court of Israel gave the government an extra three months to present a plan for egalitarian Jewish prayer at the Western Wall.

    Sunday’s ruling also declined to issue a temporary order allowing women to use the site’s Torah scrolls in the women’s section in...

  • Knesset ethics panel reprimands haredi lawmaker who slammed Women of the Wall

    March 29, 2016 | 2:54 pm

    The Knesset Ethics Committee reprimanded a United Torah Judaism lawmaker for saying that members of a group that holds women’s prayer services at the Western Wall should be “thrown to the dogs.”

    Meir Porush, the deputy education minister and a member of the haredi Orthodox party,...

  • Letters to the editor: Donald Trump, Women of the Wall and more

    March 16, 2016 | 9:02 am

    Israel Has Always Bled Red

    Shmuel Rosner, who I greatly admire, apparently tried to excuse Israeli support for Donald Trump by writing that “Israel tilts rightward when it considers American politics” (“Like It or Not, Israelis Think Trump is Better for Them Than Clinton,” March...

  • Why liberal Jews aren’t worried that the Western Wall rabbi denounced the egalitarian prayer deal

    March 15, 2016 | 9:45 am

    The Western Wall rabbi just denounced the Western Wall deal. Its supporters aren’t worried.

    In January, Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz reached a compromise with non-Orthodox leaders over the future of the holy site. On Monday, he denounced the deal.

    In two strongly worded...

  • When is a compromise not a compromise?

    February 26, 2016 | 12:32 pm

    A month ago, the board of Women of the Wall, leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements in North America and Israel announced that they had reached an agreement with the Israeli government that would, for the first time, give official recognition of these non-Orthodox streams...

  • “Separate, But Equal?” What does pluralism at the Western Wall mean?

    February 22, 2016 | 11:28 am

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  • Don’t silence the voices of Orthodox women

    February 12, 2016 | 2:35 pm

    "There is more than one way to be a Jew," wrote Rabbi Laura Geller in the February 4th issue of The Jewish Journal.

    I cannot agree more. And that's why I need to speak up about a very anti-feminist trend in Kotel discourse.

    Phyllis Chesler is a long-time critic of male...

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

    February 4, 2016 | 11:35 am

    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

    February 3, 2016 | 3:59 pm

    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

    February 3, 2016 | 3:56 pm

    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

    February 3, 2016 | 3:52 pm

    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...

  • At the Kotel, at last

    February 3, 2016 | 3:47 pm

    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

    February 3, 2016 | 3:45 pm

    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

    February 2, 2016 | 1:33 pm

    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

    February 1, 2016 | 8:38 am

    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

    February 1, 2016 | 8:26 am

    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

    February 1, 2016 | 2:57 am

    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

    January 31, 2016 | 11:02 am

    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

    January 31, 2016 | 9:16 am

    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...

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