Published On: Thu, Jan 12th, 2017

Israeli Supreme Court ruling favors women’s prayer at Western Wall

The women of the Kotel - Western Wall hundreds-attend-protest-march-in-the-kotel-western-wall-jerusalem-photo-eli-mendelbaum


Israeli Supreme Court Wednesday affirming the rights of women at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site.

The landmark decision Wednesday, the state was given 30 days to find “good cause” why a woman may not read aloud from a Torah scroll as part of prayer services at the Western Wall.

Further more women will no longer be subjected to body searches for “contraband” Jewish ritual objects by foundation staff.

If the state fails to find “good cause” for not permitting women to read from the Torah, it is yet to be determined whether they will be granted access to the hundreds of scrolls now located in the men’s section of the Western Wall plaza.

The ruling, in response to three separate petitions submitted to the court, gives the government 30 days to come up with “good cause” why women should continue to be barred from chanting from Torah scrolls at the Wall; states that women may no longer be subjected to body searches aimed at discovering religious objects on their persons when approaching the Wall (standard security searches will continue); and that women’s access to Robinson’s Arch near the Wall does not constitute access to the Wall.

AJC has long supported the right of women to pray unhindered at the Western Wall hails court decision.

“The Supreme Court decision affirms two core principles shared by the great majority of American Jews: the Western Wall is the possession and national treasure of the entire Jewish people; and all Jews should be encouraged to connect with and express their appreciation of their Jewish heritage, here symbolized by the Wall, ” said Steven Bayme, Director of AJC’s Contemporary Jewish Life Department. “Enabling greater numbers of Jews to connect with their Jewish identity in turn strengthens the Jewish people and the attachment of world Jewry to the Jewish State.”



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