WoW, Rosh Chodesh Kislev at Western Wall

Rosh Chodesh Kislev,

a new month on the Jewish calendar,

and in Jerusalem, Israel

time for another episode and photo essay of

the Women of the Wall  (WoW) and the Women for the Wall (W4W).

As I went down the steps toward the Kotel, the Western Wall,

I met a young new oleh from France who asked me what was going on,

after trying to explain I gave up and just said

” It is Rosh Chodesh today.”

picture security at Western Wall, three men in photo one religious. image police in Old City

There was less over the top security this month

and the view below was different,

but every month I have gone there has  been a different scene.

image WOW, picture women of wall

 Early in the morning at the Kotel, the Western Wall Plaza,

there were thousands already below,

image people at Kossel, picture Western Wall, image near WAiling wall

and many more people waiting to enter at the main security gate.

image line jumper, picture man going under barrier to front of line,

This man found a way to beat the line,

as he went under the barrier at the other entrance.

picture from Western WAll on Rosh Chodesh

For the first time, part of the plaza area was cleared,

and equipped with a stretcher and medical equipment.

On this 25th anniversary of WoW Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel,

the police and security people were ready.

image security line, picture from Rosh hodesh at western wall, Kossel on Rosh Chodesj

Security was lined up.

security and boys, image security on Rosh chodesh

but there were fewer young boys than in the past,

and much less trouble.

picture of trouble maker at Kotel.image male protester at wall

One whistle-blower was in the men’s section, as he covered his ears,

image protester at Wow

he was not the only one trying to block that awful noise.

image men's section at western wall, picture security at Kosel, image Kossel

Sound was all that would get from the men’s side

to the women’s side with these security barriers.

iamge women of wall

Women of Wall sang loudly.

image view of security, picture of security at Kossel

I am not sure who comes up with the estimates in crowd size,

maybe it is those watching from above.

image Women of wall on Rosh Chodesh

But besides many women from the US who came for this event,

there were W4W and many female press,

image woman praying, photo female security, picture WoW

mixed in with thousands of girls and security,

image Women of Wall, picture of women of wall and security

 all packed in the small area together.

image Women of Wall, photo Women singing.

One thing there is no argument about,

WoW sang their Rosh Chodesh service as loud as they could,

image Kossel davening, photo Kossel

loud enough so that the few men on far side could hear them.

image women of wall

Many women wore prayer shawls,

but there were also ear pieces and microphones.

image women of wall, picture women of wall at kotel

Trying to keep the singing in unison required many conductors as well.

image at Kossel

And there were many cameras, but no violence, 

  and so the international media has become bored and was missing.

image Women of Wall, photo women of wall posing

 WoW seems to love to play to the camera,

I mean, pray to the camera.

women of wall image, photo kotel.

Thousands of young women and girls were at the Kotel.

image women praying, photo women are wailing wall

Many come with serious intentions to pray at this holy site,

and some are not even Jewish,

but sincere tourists from around the world.

image prayer, photo girls at Kotel, picture Women for Wall

Say what you want about W4W and bringing school girls on Rosh Chodesh to fill the plaza,

but some of them do feel the seriousness of the site

image rosh chodesh at wall, WoW picture, photo of WOW

 in spite of the media circus.

For twenty-four and a half years WoW held their Rosh Chodesh service with little notice.

I sure hope at their 25th anniversary WoW banquet

the idiot who was responsible for arresting a woman in a talit last spring

gets an award for providing more publicity and recognition,

then any PR firm with a huge budget could dream of.

A new area has been set up near the Kotel for egalitarian prayer services.

image men at Western Wall

Will WoW accept the compromise,

or will their male supporters be left in the back behind a divider?

Guess we will have to wait until next month to see what happens.

More photos from Rosh Chodesh Kislev  HERE.

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