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.
Arriving at 6:30 am,
the size of the huge crowd and the press were overwhelming.
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?
Throwing of a bag full of sewer water was most shocking,
its stench lasted all morning.
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?
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.
The media that gathered around the Women of the Wall
at times outnumbered the number of women inside the police circle.
Security people certainly outnumbered the WOW supporters,
and were everywhere recording the events.
Were there any empty spaces for watching the scenes unfold?
Rabbi of the Kotel Shmuel Rabinovitch,
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Yitzchak Pindrus,
and other officials were present for some of the time.
Security did a great job to keep control of the mob-like crowd,
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.
There were those who were actually trying to pray at The Kotel
for the morning service for Rosh Chodesh.
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