Women of Wall Accept Compromise, Really?

Every Rosh Chodesh that I have gone to the Kotel, The Western Wall,

has been a unique experience.

 After my first  Women of the Wall experienceWoW,

the stench (of the refuse thrown on me) stayed with me for days.

But nevertheless I went back to see for myself what was happening,

and each month has been different.

This time, walking through the Old City,

soldiers near Wailing Wall

there were

Wailing Wall photo

security people, 

Kosel image

stationed at every

Israeli soldiers

single stop

israeli security

on the way to the plaza,

security at Kotel

and also watching from above.

Women of the Wall at Kosel

The plaza was filled with thousands of people.

WoW at Western Wall photo

Inside the women’s section in the back were WoW,

image security, WOW

with more security around them.

Like last month,

a loud-speaker system made the men’s prayers loud enough for all to hear.

The Women for the Wall, W4W, had a good turn out.

western wall image

In the crowd of thousands, many who were saying tehilim for Rav Yosef,

wailing wall image

and many were clearly married, not just seminary girls.

Rosh chodesh , women wearing kipot

WOW wore varied head coverings

women's prayer group image

and several wore tefillin.

As before, they used a microphone, and when they sang loudly

 there was noise from some of the girls trying to drown them out.

image woman wearing tefilin

At this Rosh Chodesh prayer service,

man at Wow service

the men stood behind the partition.

While tehilim were being said, WoW were quiet.

image Women of Wall

After their service they sang hatikvah.

image haredi boys at Western Wall

which brought shouts from some of the girls and the boys watching near by,

but they were quickly stopped by security.

woman at wailing wall

It was an emotional experience for some.

WoW at western wall

As the The Women for the Wall left, a police line kept the groups apart.

security at Al-Quds

Then WoW left the area the same way as they did the last month.

Reporting that this time they had to “sneak out,” is just another example

of a news source getting it wrong.

After WoW and W4W had already left,

trouble at western all

 this couple on the right walked through the plaza.

A small group of “religious” looking  young men, 

started shouting at them.

western wall trouble

One was taken away by security.

There have been headlines that Women of the Wall

accepted a compromise offered by Natan Sharansky.

Most people would love that to be true,

to keep The Kotel  a peaceful place,

and not to be a battle ground.

women of wall

 Now it is clearly used as a backdrop for a political agenda

woman with tefilin

 and a power struggle.

 Anat Hoffman says they are not leaving

and next month is WoW’s 25th anniversary,

so I guess there will be at least one more chapter to this story. 

More photos from Rosh Chodesh Marchesvan on 

The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page.

18 thoughts on “Women of Wall Accept Compromise, Really?

  • October 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    WOW did not use any amplification. The microphone and earphones were an internal system so that the prayer leaders could hear each other.

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  • October 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Rosh Hodesh has always been considered a woman’s holiday…let the “upset” men(and their women) stay away from the wall that day and honour their torah and talmud’s gift to us as we pray at our holy place. The problem is that they think it’s their place, exclusively…male patriarchy rules at the wall, unfortunately. It doesn’t matter if WOW or W4W use a microphone…that’s a red herring. G-d is inclusive of male and female energies and has watched this ‘shanda’ for 25 years…in sorrow, methinks.

  • October 9, 2013 at 10:45 am

    What a disrespectful way to treat tefillin, waving them around and using them to score political points. Even the ones wearing them may or may not have been praying, some sure had them on incorrectly. These women in their pretty pink ‘talitot’ (Anat lounging in front of the cameras with hers draped around her shoulders, I mean, really) annoy me no end. So do rude haredim.

    • October 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      The women weren’t waving around the Tefillin. They were winding or straightening the straps. Only one woman is holding them aloft. So this is in the process of taking them off or putting them on. They are trying to keep the straps from falling on the floor, which would be disrespectful.

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    What a disgraceful way to label women who don’t think and pray exactly the way you do, calling them “refuse.” It shows exactly the stuff W4W is made of; rubbish.

    • October 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      What are you talking about! Do you read? I was there when a bag of sewer was thrown. It went all over me. My shoes smelled for days. That is how crazy things get started. I NEVER called anyone “refuse” !! You are insulting! I have good friends in WoW who enjoying singing. Sorry you are all very confused.

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    If they were really serious about wanting to pray they’d be there 24/7 and not just an hour a month.

  • October 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Because a quick headline is better than an honest summation of facts. Also because few read anymore, few take time to digest the information. Speed and imagery are more important than thoughts and facts. I’m not surprised they got it wrong; I think there was an attempt by some to force the issue in such a way that WOW would not have the ability to do anything but accept what the media was saying. In any case, thank you for your report. The bullying and violence needs to stop. That should stop first. Then, and only then, imho, should there be any talk of compromise, though consensus would , in fact, be better. Hoped that answered your question. Point of fact: WOW participated in the tehilim for Rav. Ovadia Yosef. The leader announced there would be a pause while prayers were being said,, and WOW answered amen. This happened several times. I do think that it is important to know that occurred as there was, for that brief few minutes, achdut.

  • October 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I know you did. I just wanted to make the point that they were not simply quiet but actively participated in the prayers. Anyway, I like to focus on the positive. Too much hate and anger in the world as it is, imho. Beauty should be embraced wherever and whenever it is found. I found the amens coming from all people to be among the beautiful things.

  • October 19, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I was not there, so get my information through printed media. My grandson is insisting on having his barmitzvah at the Kotel. I did try and persuade him to read his parsha in our local synagogue, but he really wants the Kotel. OK, so I, as his grandmother do not really have too much to say but my point is, my grandson and the male members of our family will be on one side of a partition, he amongst strangers who don’t know him, while his mother (my daughter) and female members are far from him, unable to hear him pray or see him. It makes me sad, as this is my eldest grandson and I think that it is a family, personal event (OK Ha’Shem plays a huge part), but it is man who makes the rules about who can pray (or not) at our holiest site.

    • October 19, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Not sure what to say, but mazel tov. Robinson’s Arch is the answer for some. Some bar mitzvahs have worked out well, when it is not too crowded at the Kotel. Try and enjoy what ever happens.

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