Published On: Thu, May 21st, 2015

Western Wall Rabbi Locks Partition to Keep Torah Scrolls Out of Women’s Hands

"We demand Torah for women at the Kotel. Rabbi Rabinowitz, LET MY TORAH GO!"

women of the wall

Western Wall Chief Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz has locked the fence which separates the women’s section from the men’s section at the Kotel. He made the move in order to prevent the Women of the Wall activists from using a Tora scroll during prayers there, at least according to the group.

The Western Wall Plaza separates men and women in accordance with Jewish law. But the women’s section is much smaller and the powers that be do not allow women to conduct their own religious services or to read from a Torah.

The move came ahead of this week’s observance of the new Hebrew month, a minor Jewish holiday on which a special Torah reading is held. It was done after one month ago a group of men passed a group of women a Torah through the barrier that separates the two sections.

Israeli courts have upheld the ban on women reading from a Torah scroll at the Kotel.

Anat Hoffman, chair of Women of the Wall, said, “Rabbi Rabinowitz treats the Kotel as it if belongs to him and enforces ultra-Orthodox customs. It is insulting not only for Women of the Wall but to every woman wherever she is that all women are treated like second-rate citizens at the holiest place to the Jewish people.”

women of the waLL BAnner

The group posted the following on its Facebook page: “‘Sheriff’ Rabinowitz won his battle today against the six lovely Bnot Mitzvah. After a year of preparation and excitement, they could not read from a Torah Scroll at the Western Wall. With police barricades and locks, he has locked the Torah out of women’s reach. But he will not win the war. We say today loud and clear: we demand Torah for women at the Kotel. Rabbi Rabinowitz, LET MY TORAH GO!”

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