WOW – What a Rosh Chodesh at the Wall

Rosh Chodesh Sivan at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

was not just any old prayer time for the new month.

The Women of the Wall were coming to pray at the Kotel.

Until Friday, I had stayed away from this monthly event,

figuring that there was enough publicity without me.

This time I had to see for myself what was really happening.

Women of Wall

Arriving at 6:30 am, 

the size of the huge crowd and the press were overwhelming.

image WOmen of Wall

The press has covered the dreadful behavior of Haredi men.

 Most were young boys, but there are no excuses for their acting like animals.

The shouting, pushing, and deafening whistles were so upsetting, 

the experience is impossible to express adequately in words. 

What in the world did they think they were accomplishing?

How could any rabbi condone this?

image violence at western wall

Throwing of a bag full of sewer water was most shocking, 

its stench lasted all morning. 

Image Women of Wall

Police grabbed the suspect immediately, however.

I wonder if the two girls on the right

will ever forget being in the middle of such a distressing scene?

picture women of wall

Here one woman is being  pulled back by security.

 There were several incidents of Women of Wall supporters

going over toward barriers to provoke the men. 

picture Women of Wall

The media that gathered around the Women of the Wall

image women of wall

at times outnumbered the number of women inside the police circle.

image watching crowd

Security people certainly outnumbered the WOW supporters, 

and were everywhere recording the events.

Picture women of Wall

Were there any empty spaces for watching the scenes unfold?

Picture of Rabbi of Wailing WAll

Rabbi of the Kotel Shmuel Rabinovitch,

Women of Wall

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Yitzchak Pindrus,

and other officials were present for some of the time.

Image security women of wall

Security did a great job to keep control of the mob-like crowd,

Image women of wall

and kept them away from the Women of  the Wall in the plaza.

 I was able to fill an entire photo album called Bad Boys – Wall of Shame, 

though of course, not all present were abusive or involved directly.

But as usual, there was more happening than the press showed.

Image wailing wall

There were those who were actually trying to pray at The Kotel

for the morning service for Rosh Chodesh.

Rosh chodesh Women of wall image

And there were thousands and thousands of women and girls,

who came to support a new group called Women for the Wall.

That beautiful scene at the Kotel did not make the news,

even though their numbers were by far the greatest.

As we enter the Shavuot holiday, a time of beginnings,

a time to remember acts of goodness,

it is acts of goodness that will bring our salvation,

not acts of provocation or baseless hatred.

More photos from WOW and W4W    

  HERE

0 thoughts on “WOW – What a Rosh Chodesh at the Wall

  • May 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm
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    Some applause here for security personnel.

    I like how you covered this post – a controversial topic.

    Reply
  • May 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm
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    Covered beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • May 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm
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    I was also there Friday morning and the dignity of all the women and young women who came and davened and left quietly was a Kiddush HaShem You expressed my shame for the mens’ behavior so well,, very sad and very upsetting to see. Could they actually justify their obnoxious behavior?

    Reply
    • May 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm
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      Exactly the crowd of Women for the Wall was huge and truly a Kiddush HaShem, and did you read about it in the main stream media or only the Chilil Hashem.

      Reply
  • May 14, 2013 at 4:57 am
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    Last photo truly inspiring. Nice work, again !

    Reply
  • May 14, 2013 at 6:50 am
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    Haaretz reported 6,000 seminary girls at wall. Religious press said 60,000. Any idea as to true number?

    Reply
    • May 14, 2013 at 9:09 am
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      The number of WOW was inflated in main stream media, while the number of girls and women was probably more than 6,000, but was less than 60,000. At times it was hard for media to know what was what, for example, one asked me what they were holding up? They were Rosh Chodesh for women books. The girls and women were beautiful, the misbehaving males revolting.

      Reply
  • May 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm
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    Hi, I am the woman being held back by police in the photo you posted. The caption says that some WoW women provoked Haredim. I saw none of that either in words or in physical threat from WoW supporters. You did not say that I was being provocative, but my picture was the photo with the caption that made that claim, so one might reasonably assume that was the case in that photo. The photo captures me at the barrier where I had gone to tell the police that a twelve-year-old girl, who had been davening beside me, was hit in the head with a rock that came flying from that direction. As I stood there talking to police, men started yelling obscenely at me and I didn’t say a word to them. I did walk too close to them, though — although not with any violent intent or mannerism. There is actually a video of my telling the police about the injured child, so you can see what the context actually was. I did not walk there to address the Hardei men in any way, but to report that a child was sobbing in her mother’s arms, clasping her head, and that emergency medical attention might be necessary. Friends have told me that my picture that you posted, and the claim of provocation that was strongly intimated, has been circling the web. Like the hasidic tale (Baal Shem Tov) about the torn pillow whose feathers can’t be collected from the winds, you can’t completely undo that rumor. But you can try. And I would appreciate that.

    Shabbat shalom, Rabbi Susan Sillverman

    Reply
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