On September 1 (that’s today), Women of the Wall will be having a selichot service at the Kotel.
Women of the Wall were there and were kept very far from the Women’s Section and the Kotel by police. The cited reason: security concerns.
It seems that since ultra-Orthodox girls’ seminaries are on summer break, and the girls had been ordered by their rabbis to arrive at the Kotel at 6:30am, the women’s section was overflowing even before the Women of the Wall service was scheduled to start.
Here are some captions to get the ball rolling…
“Whistle if you love sin’at chinam!”
“Egg-tossing, unnecessary roughness on the defense. The penalty is declined. First down!”
It seems that Bibi’s man Natan Sharansky, charged by the PM with figuring out the Kotel Conundrum (otherwise known as #WomenoftheWall), has finally put his foot down!
YNET reports that Jerusalem Police Commander Major-General Yossi Parente sent a letter to Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, and #WomanoftheWall, advising her that the police were going to strictly enforce “the law” at #WomenoftheWall’s Rosh Chodesh Iyar service. Parente indicated that after consultation with Deputy Attorney General Sarit Dana, they, to paraphrase Thor, were going to put the hammer down.
This made Sharansky ANGRY as now he would have to get out from behind his desk and do something. Or at least seem to do something. Which still required him to get out from behind his desk. So, Sharansky went somewhere to meet with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation who serves as the Kotel’s “rabbi”.
Sharansky and Rabinowitz met yesterday. And they talked. And Sharansky expressed SHOCK. And, according to Shmarya Rosenberg:
Sharansky is reportedly “in the final stages” of drafting a compromise that would ensure “that every Jew in the world can pray in the manner that they are accustomed to at Judaism’s most important national and religious site.”
I cannot wait to see Sharansky’s compromise. I wonder if it will be even more compromise-ier than Gil Troy’s compromise which was REAL compromise-y…
I cannot wait until next Rosh Chodesh to see what else Natan has planned! …Perhaps, as a bonus, we might get more of Gil Troy’s calls for
maintaining the status quo which in effect kowtows to Haredi hegemony “compromise“!
(BTW, when Troy’s blogpost dropped, I called bullspit … but besides picking at what he called “a sloppy inaccurate and cliche historical analogy” when I wondered if he would counsel Rosa Parks to see reason about the back of the bus, he did not respond to my question about whether the Kotel belongs to the Jewish people or just to Jewish men… I am still waiting.)
The poop might just be hitting the fan now, Natan.
When a poor man eats a chicken, there can be only one reason…
fobs off redirects an issue to the head of the Jewish Agency and asks him to figure something out, there could be three reasons:
- This issue is so important to Bibi that he absolutely must have someone else resolve it.
- This issue of gender equality and religion commands the most urgent attention from government that it cannot be addressed by government.
- The solution ultimately devised by the Jewish Agency will have so much teeth, sharks will snicker amongst themselves.
Considering the rudderlessness of the Jewish Agency and its muddled mission of “identity building”, Bibi picked the perfect desk for what he perceives to be a pile of mess known as Women of the Wall, a group of women who have the chutzpah to insist on practicing Judaism at Judaism’s holiest site.
What Sharansky can do (that Bibi cannot) is look earnest as he considers the sides on this issue, tisk-tisking as well-meaning mostly North-American women demand to be equal participants in their own religion while coalition-connected Haredi rabbis form a penalty kick wall to defend the Kotel from feminist defilement.
Sharansky can continue to look perturbed as nothing is ultimately done (or perhaps, here’s a great idea, would y’all like to pray at Robinson’s Arch?) and women continue to be arrested for the crime of bringing a tallit to the Kotel as they were last Friday.
And Bibi…? GOOOOOOOAAAAA…..!
He has an election to win and with support slipping away from Likud to the bloc of right-wing-religious nationalists (spearheaded by the homophobic Naftali Bennett of the rebooted “HaBayit HeYehudi” party) on his (hard-)right, Bibi looks resolute in protecting the sanctity of the Kotel (and his religious-nationalist base) while addressing an issue that North American Jews seem to care about in direct proportion to the number of votes these progressive North American Jews will be casting in January’s election – a number unsurprisingly too small to quantify. …..AAAAAAALLLL!!!