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.
Women of the Wall did not decide to pray on [Religious Affairs Minister Naftali] Bennett’s sun deck (“A Kotel Platform for No One?” Oct. 25). We decided to negotiate with the government on the creation of a third section at the Kotel. This section will have to accommodate our women’s-only prayer group as well as egalitarian services.
Ten longtime members of Women of the Wall are protesting the organization’s recent decision to meet at the Robinson’s Arch area next to the Western Wall Plaza.
Women of the Wall agreed in principle to pray in a new egalitarian space adjacent to the Western Wall Plaza, provided the space meets several conditions regarding design and management.
Scores of women gathered for a Women of the Wall service at the Western Wall with little police protection and minimal disruption from protesters.
The Western Wall rabbi requested that Charedi Orthodox girls not fill the plaza for the next Women of the Wall service.
From wars and elections to scandals and triumphs, here’s a look back at the highlights of the Jewish year 5773.
Nothing truly ends with Rosh Hashanah except for the arbitrary calendar of the Jewish year. It is a cycle that is in our minds, with no detectable bearing on reality. Proof No. 1: I’m writing this column even as events in Syria are still unfolding.
Israel’s minister of religious services, Naftali Bennett, acknowledged flaws in his plan for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.
About a dozen women sit underneath a large Israeli flag at Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall. They’ve been here close to 24 hours, and are getting tired. They are members of Women of the Wall (WOW), a 25-year-old group of women from all denominations that wants equality for women 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.
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.
Ten women from Women of the Wall held a public prayer service at the Western Wall without incident.
On the morning of July 8, at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Av, the Western Wall plaza was a cacophonous mess.
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?
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.
U.S. entertainer Barbra Streisand on Monday took a swipe at Orthodox Jews in Israel who compel women to sit in the back of buses and assault them for following religious rituals traditionally reserved for men.
Hundreds of protesting Charedi Orthodox youth did not prevent or significantly disturb the Women of the Wall’s monthly service at the Western Wall.
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.
Women of the Wall said it will read from a Torah scroll at its upcoming service 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.
Israel’s chief rabbis received death threats in letters to their offices warning them to allow the Women of the Wall to pray “in accordance with our customs.”
If praying with tallis and tefillin was all that Women of the Wall (WOW) wanted, they would be satisfied with the Sharnsky compromise of a third section for all other forms of Jewish worship (“Stone-Walling,” May 24). If they accepted that, they would also be allowing the Orthodox to have a place where they could pray the way they wanted to. The 2,000-year history of ritual and prayer at the Kotel should be allowed to continue and have its place as well.
On March 12, Stav Shaffir, a first-time Knesset Member from the Labor Party, joined Women of the Wall in prayer at the Western Wall. Despite threats from several Orthodox groups and attempted arrests by police, the group prayed.
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.
It’s just before 7 a.m. when I arrive at Kotel Plaza security station to find long lines. My son Andy gets into the swiftly moving line for men. I enter the longer, slowly moving line for women. Andy carries the cloth bag containing our things. I try reaching to remove mine, but Andy stops me.
Haredi Orthodox youth mobbed the Western Wall plaza by the thousands to protest Women of the Wall as they held their monthly prayer service.
I have mixed emotions about Natan Sharansky’s proposed agreement to expand the public space at the Western Wall to include the currently secluded area known as Robinson’s Arch.
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.